Are you a globetrotter at heart? Or do you just dream of living and working abroad for a few years? Either way, the world can be your oyster, but it takes more than a quick-fix language course to get those pearls.
You need Cultural Intelligence!
There are many ways to cultivate your Cultural Intelligence:
- International Families – if you’re reading this, it’s probably too late to be born into a global family with mom from one country, dad from another and a life spent moving around the globe. For multi-lingual, multi-cultural, “third culture kids”, cross-cultural training starts in the cradle… If this wasn’t the case for you, seek out families like this and learn from them.
- International Experience – living, studying and working abroad can transform a person – or not. Unfortunately, many people squander these experiences by hiding in expatriate groups or ghettos, fleeing from the challenges of Culture Shock…A few do manage to integrate though. These are the ones who become genuine global citizens.
- Multicultural Experiences – most of us can find cultural diversity without leaving our country. This is a valuable experience, but keep in mind: it’s not the same to learn from other fish inside your bowl; there’s nothing like jumping into another bowl and spending (lots of) time there in order to understand life from another point of view.
- Cross-cultural Training – cross-cultural or intercultural trainings can never substitute the experience of living and working abroad, but they spark transformation. Simulations, exercises, games and activities can provide stiff culture shocks and stimulate questions, ideas, inspiration and change.
The path to global citizenship is challenging – and fascinating!
It’s easiest to stay where you are, surrounded by people who think just like you. If you really want to go global, you have to make the leap into new worlds; you need to discover life from different points of view.
It’s time to make the leap!