Building Cross-Cultural Friendships

international_students

You may have an interest in getting to know people from another culture and who speak another language than you. Here are some wise words of advice from people who have learned how to build deep friendships with people of other cultures:

  1.       Be inquisitive about the culture you are new to – Don’t just study extensively about people and their culture. Choose to let them tell you about their foods, traditions, and beliefs.
  2.       Be intentional with where you live and spend your time – When your neighbors are people from other cultures, or when you frequent places where they spend time, you have lots of opportunities to chat and get to know each other better.
  3.       Always keep a learner’s perspective – If something seems confusing or strange to you, rather than making an immediate judgment call, keep asking questions and see it as a learning opportunity about their culture.
  4.       Learn people’s language – Just because you flunked Spanish class in high school doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to learn someone else’s language (even if it’s a hard language to learn!). Language learning, even informally asking “How do you say…?” allows for a fun time to rely on them as your teacher and deepen your friendship.
  5.       Be a good friend – Learning about language and culture does NOT have to be complicated or formal. Often just being a good friend is all you need. 🙂

 

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