Category Archives: Intercultural Training

Making independence possible

disoriented

Written by Dr. Julie L. Parenteau, President of Global Perceptions

 

July 4, 2006 marked a new chapter in my life. It was the first day that I woke up in Puerto Rico. I awoke with incredibly uncertainty. Had I made the right decision in coming? Would I figure out how to get around? How long would it take me to learn enough Spanish to communicate effectively?

 

The next two weeks were filled with challenges and doubts. It was so hot!! The power went out several times, which made me even more miserable. I tried going out once or twice, but got lost so badly and was so nervous about crashing the loaner car in the crazy traffic that Itemperature stayed put the rest of the time. That meant I did not speak with anyone either. I remember watching movies and working on scrapbook pages to fill the time.

 

In other words, I was bored out of my mind. I had moved to paradise, but felt paralyzed. This was not what I was expecting. Such an outgoing, ambitious woman should not have these feelings despite being in another country. Or so I thought…

 

Then I remembered what I had learned over the years about cultural adaptation. Even the most seasoned expatriates experienced culture shock symptoms to some degree. Now that it was no longer just theory, but rather actual lived experience, I realized that I was simply going through culture shock and needed to give myself some time. I would have my ups and disorienteddowns. I just needed to stay the course. I also realized that I could see the situation as a challenge or as an opportunity. I could continue to dwell on the things that were making me miserable or I could change my outlook. I chose the second option.

 

The past eight years have not been easy. I will be the first to admit that. However, taking on an “If you can’t beat them, join them” attitude made it possible for me to get through that first year and those that followed. My Spanish is now good enough that I teach Spanish to other expatriates. I know where I’m going and can maneuver through the traffic without fear. I avoid going back to Wisconsin in the winter because it’s so cold. I’m still not thrilled about power outages, but I know how to deal with them.

 

So if you ask me today if I made the right decision, I will tell you “Yes, I made the right P1030117decision.”  I am happy in Puerto Rico. I have become a successful entrepreneur. I have grown as an individual and have gained an incredible family of friends, students, and supporters. Because of them, I have the courage to continue living here and have the faith to believe that things will get better. Because of them, I am who I am–a free independent AmeRican. On this Fourth of July, I celebrate my independence and my extended family of boricuas who have made my independence possible! Cheers to you all!

 

For more information on relocating to or from Puerto Rico, contact Global Perceptions. We are your relocation specialists in Puerto Rico! From individuals to couples to entire families, we will help you all through the process with cultural orientation, coaching, language, and concierge services. Call us TODAY at 7874557764 or visit http://global-perceptions.com/.

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Dancing Through the Adaptation Process

Dancing Through the Adaptation Process

by Julie L. Parenteau, Ph.D., President of Global Perceptions

 

As a newcomer in Puerto Rico, I was looking for ways to immerse myself in the local language and culture so that my cultural adaptation process would be a little smoother and so I would be a more credible intercultural communication professor. One of the things that really intrigued me about Puerto Rican culture was salsa dancing. I asked around on campus and one of my students told me about a place nearby that was starting salsa lessons. I vowed to find out more. The following week, my cultural orientation to life in Puerto Rico grew to include what would become an incredible personal passion. Let me tell you how it all started….

Y todo comenzo....

Y todo comenzo….

Seeing the line of people standing outside the local club, I feel anxiety rise within me. I took some salsa lessons in the States, but this is Puerto Rico, home of all things related to salsa, and that alone makes me nervous. Stepping out of the car, I slowly walk the dark street to join the line. I have no idea what I will find inside, but I am hopeful. I love salsa music and the dances that accompany the music so this will be an adventure. The line moves and within minutes I walk into the space. Noticing how many people are inside already, I wonder, “Is it really possible that all of these people fit in here? And how can we dance like this?” Looking around, I spot another American guy and walk up to introduce myself. He greets me and tells me he’s from Iowa. “What a coincidence,” I think, “another Midwesterner who looks like me and lives here, but speaks fluent Spanish and is interested in salsa dancing.” I didn’t think there were any other people like me around so this is a nice twist. We talk for another minute before the instructor steps onto the stage.

“Damas y caballeros, bienvenidos a nuestra primera clase de salsa,” the instructor begins adjusting the microphone attached to his lapel.

salsa cambio en clave

Cambio en Clave! The key to my success!

The wide-eyed audience looks at him, waiting for the first step. My new friend and I get into a line of people and face the instructor.

“Uno, dos, tres, cinco, seis, siete.”

Trying to see around all the others in front of us, our feet begin to move. “Oh yeah, I remember this!” Thankful for the previous lessons, I blend into the rest of the group as much as a white girl can. The class continues as we learn the first few steps. This part is easy.

“Ahora vamos a hacer las vueltas,” the instructor calls with a smile in his eyes.

Uncertainty waves through the audience as everyone starts talking to each other about how difficult turns are. Personally, I am wondering how we’re going to attempt turns when we’re packed in this space so tightly. Then I think about how easily Puerto Ricans fit their cars into the most impossible places and figure that if they dance like they park, this won’t be so bad. With a quick reminder of the order of the steps, I catch on. “Gosh have I missed this,” I admit. Feeling a bit nostalgic, I look around at the other people. Most people seem to be getting the idea. There is one guy however, who just can’t seem to make his feet move in the right order. Believing that I have enough skills at this point to teach him this basic turn, I offer to help him. After a couple of minutes he is turning on his own. “Mission accomplished!” I gloat, wondering if he ever thought a gringa would be teaching him salsa.

Putting new moves to the test!

Putting new moves to the test!

As the class comes to an end, I look to my American friend and ask if he’ll be back next week. He assures me that he’ll be there and we part ways. I drive home thinking that maybe despite all the other issues that I’m having, something about this country has redeeming value. I commit to making space in my schedule to participate in these salsa lessons each week because they make me believe that there is hope for me on this island.

 

Adapting to a new culture is challenging for all. If you are thinking of moving to Puerto Rico, I can help. I have been through the adaptation process in personal and professional settings and want to help you avoid the pitfalls that I discovered along the way. Don’t hestitate! REACH OUT TODAY and learn what it takes to successfully adapt to the culture and language of Puerto Rico!

Global Perceptions is a full-service communication and relocation consulting business based in San Juan, Puerto Rico. For more information on our services, visit www.global-perceptions.com or call 787.455.7764.

Cultural Orientation Services for Your Relocation to Puerto Rico

Global Perceptions offers the complete package! By Julie L. Parenteau, Ph.D.

 

Have you had a cultural orientation program for your move to Puerto Rico that left you with more questions than answers? Have you had a poor experience with your relocation agent? Have your family members struggled to adjust to the life and culture of Puerto Rico? Has your job as an expatriate executive been impacted as a result? Do you feel left out because language lessons were not included in your relocation package?

Come and see the jewel of the Caribbean!

Come and see the jewel of the Caribbean!

If this has been your Puerto Rican relocation experience, then we are glad that you have discovered Global Perceptions. Our custom-designed services offer you and your family members thorough, honest, and ethical cultural orientation programs. We assess the needs of your family and then design cultural orientation training curriculum to meet those needs. We make certain that everyone, down to your treasured family pet, knows what it takes to successfully adapt to life in Puerto Rico.

But we do not stop there! We also provide language learning courses for all ages. We want you to adapt to your new culture effectively and recognize the need for language

Our President teaching an English Class

Our President teaching an English Class

skills to achieve this goal. For this reason, we offer individual and group language courses for both Spanish and English learners. Classes focus on teaching you to communicate in everyday situations as you work to adjust, while also helping you understand what others are saying.

Additionally, Global Perceptions works with expatriate executives to increase their understanding of what it means to work with local employees. As newcomers in the local culture, learning business etiquette and protocol is essential to obtaining corporate objectives. We know that and work with you to navigate this important piece of the relocation process. Your success is imperative to us!

Global Perceptions offers you and your family the complete cultural orientation package. We know what it takes to successfully adjust to the culture of Puerto Rico because we have been through that process ourselves. Our staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as you adapt to living in Puerto Rico.

Do not wait! Contact us TODAY! Register for our FREE newsletter and learn more about our services at http://www.global-perceptions.com/

Two hours to the beach

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Written by Julie L. Parenteau, Ph.D., President of Global Perceptions Communication and Relocation Consulting

 

I have had an interesting journey through my almost seven years in Puerto Rico. Until recently, I didn’t think that my story was all that special. A dear friend convinced me that we are all meant to tell our stories. With that in mind, I have gone back through my early writings to share some of my adventures with you.

 

Two hours to the beach

trafficIt’s now been two weeks since I arrived on the island. Determined not to let another day go by without a trip to the beach, I pack my sunscreen, towel, and a fashion magazine. Sliding my sunglasses over my ears, I give myself a pep talk and get into the red Honda that I am borrowing for the day. I slowly back out of the driveway and make my way onto the Expreso. Driving amidst the other cars on the highway is still my biggest fear. Not only do I have no idea where I’m going, but people constantly cut me off under the assumption that a turn-signal is an unnecessary form of communication. That really ticks me off. Back home someone who forgets to use their turn signal is considered rude. It’s only polite to indicate your desire to turn in a certain direction, allowing the surrounding traffic ample time to get out of the way. Knowing that it’s likely someone is going to cut me off, I pay extra attention to the surrounding traffic, often missing the sign for my exit.

 

But today, I am determined to find the one beach that I know how to access. There is no entrance fee and there is usually ample parking, so going to Isla Verde sounds ideal. Approaching the tunnel, several cars zoom from lane to lane in front of

minillas tunnelme. It’s dark in the tunnel and the lack of turn signals frightens me. I have no idea which way to go and am afraid to move from my position for fear of hitting someone. In the process of thinking through all of this, I veer to the left, heading toward San Juan. After a mile, I realize that I have made a mistake. I should have gone to the right as I exited the tunnel. Trying to correct my error, I pull off the highway and find myself in Condado. I recognize a few familiar sights. The water is several blocks away, but I can make out the crystal blue color in the distance.

“Well, I could go to this beach instead,” I say out loud. Changing my original plan, I look around for a parking space. After several blocks there is no space to be found—at least not any that I am willing to pull into in a borrowed car. I travel down a cross street trying to find a way back to the highway. The road seems to go East so I keep following it, hoping that it will eventually get me to Isla Verde. Feeling more confident, I travel on. Ten more minutes go by and then it appears on the horizon—El Morro. “How could this be? I was sure I was going toward Isla Verde.” Not knowing whether to laugh or cry at this point, I keep driving. “Eventually I am going to reach Isla Verde,” I state hesitantly.

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I manage to get out of Old San Juan without too much trouble since I stayed in a hotel there on a previous trip. Passing by an area of hotels and restaurants that I recognize, I begin to get comfortable again. This time I am definitely going toward Isla Verde. I can see the highway and carefully merge with the traffic again. I go South, assuming that I’ll be able to get off near the tunnel and turn around.

 

“This looks like a promising exit. Let me take this one.” I pull off and immediately realize that this is not the exit that I should have taken. Again I am forced to search through the streets for an entrance back to the highway. Block after block passes, but I have no idea where I am. Eventually I realize that I have been driving the wrong way in a bus-only lane when a not-so-kind sizzlertaxi driver scolds me from his own vehicle. Feeling exasperated and frustrated, I finally find something that looks familiar. To my chagrin it looks familiar because I was just at this same spot twenty minutes earlier. For the third time in the last hour I pass by the Sizzler.

 

“Maybe I’m not supposed to go to the beach today,” I confess. Ready to give up, I get back on the highway and decide to go back home. Along the way, my determination rears its head again. By the time that I reach the exit for my neighborhood, I decide to try one more time. Now I know that I have to go to the right in the tunnel so maybe I will actually get there if I just start over. With a sense of renewed confidence, I turn the car around.

 

Half an hour later, I finally park the car in front of the beautiful blue waters. “I did it!” I find a space under a large palm tree and spread my towel over the fine grains of sand. Settling into an article in my magazine, I congratulate myself on overcoming the challenge of getting to this beach. It took me two hours, but I finally did it, and I did it all by myself. “See Julie, you just need some practice. You’ll get the hang of this,” I tell myself. Ten blissful minutes pass by and then they come—big, wet raindrops. “Just my luck, I guess I really wasn’t meant to be on the beach today.” I toss my wet towel and beach bag in the back seat and decide that a mid-afternoon nap could offer a bit of reprieve from what has happened over the last few hours. Fortunately by now, I know the way home.100_0117

 

For more information on Global Perceptions or its President, Dr. Julie Parenteau, please visit http://globalperceptions.net/ or our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Relocation.Specialist.PuertoRico

In the Beginning

Nearly seven years ago I got on the plane in Chicago and landed in San Juan. As I reached for my oversized suitcases at the lower level baggage claim, a man said “I hope you’re moving here with all those bags.” I responded, “Yeah, I am, thanks.” Assisted by one of the porters, I managed to get my luggage out the door. Outside the gate some Puerto Rican friends that I met in graduate school greeted me beneath the stars and humidity-drenched air. We stopped by the grocery store for a few essentials and then they took me to the house where I would stay while I searched for an apartment. That was how my journey started…

 

The first two weeks were the worst. My original plans for making the move had changed and I was now all on my own. It was early July so it was really hot and sticky, which caused the power to go out on several occasions. Not only was there no air-conditioning in those moments, but there was no fan and I couldn’t get the electric garage door open to leave. I was miserable. To add to that, I didn’t know where anything was and didn’t speak Spanish like the locals despite having studied Spanish for years. And the idea of venturing into what I deemed “treacherous traffic” was frightening, especially when driving a friend’s car. I began to wonder if I had made a big mistake.

 

Luckily for me, I found a small studio where I could live for as long as I needed. This at least gave me a project to develop. I ventured to the Kmart down the road and picked up a few furnishings, bed sheets, pots, and silverware. I tried to make the space my own as much as possible so I could begin to feel comfortable. It wasn’t exactly home, but it would work until a better option came along.

 

When my friends came back from vacation, I felt much better. At least I had someone to talk to and was no longer alone. They were very kind to me. We hung out a lot in the beginning and they filled me in on a lot of the “dos and don’ts” of living in Puerto Rico. When life got tough, they were there to support me and encourage me to keep going.

 

School started about six weeks after my arrival. Having a job and being surrounded by students gave me a sense of purpose. I was somebody, not just a shadow in a cramped room. As with any new job, the learning curve was steep, but my students
genuinely wanted me to succeed. They taught me about the culture and told me about places to visit. They made a difference in my life. I began to feel more confident as the semester progressed.

 

But that was just the beginning…

 

Seven years later, I look back on that experience and am surprised by how vividly I remember those initial feelings. It has been a long, hard road, but the friends that I have made along the way have helped me learn that taking the path less traveled opens up so many more possibilities in life. I would like to thank them and my students. I wouldn’t have made it without them.

5 Relocation Tips for Kids: Post-departure

The big day has come and gone. Now you are safely in your new home and starting classes at your new school. Now your major concerns are: 1) will the other kids like me?2) where will I sit at lunchtime? and 3) what will the teachers be like? These are normal questions for any new kid to ask. When making an international move however, these questions become even more stressful due to differences in culture and language. Let me offer the following tips to help guide you comfortably through these changes.

In my experience as a new kid, getting involved in a school-sponsored club or sport was critical to helping me become a part of the new school. Whether you like drama, art, fencing, robotics, or community-service, try to find a group that supports your interests. By attending their meetings, more people will see you and will get used to you being a part of the group.

Getting involved also gives you access to people with similar interests so you can make friends. Because you already have something in common, it should be easier to start a conversation even if you don’t know the person. Also, the small group setting makes it easier to have one-on-one conversations than being in a large classroom full of people. Take advantage of these opportunities to get to know other people.

Living in a new culture often means that there are new foods and drinks to try. Be open to tasting the new foods even if they do not look “normal” to you. People in the new culture probably think that much of what you are used to eating is weird or strange too. Be adventurous and try new things!

Listening to local music can help you become familiar with local styles, but can also help you learn the language. Tune your radio to a local station and listen in. Watching local television shows offers the same benefits. You may not understand anything in the beginning, but if you keep watching, you will start to pick up quite a bit. Being current with TV shows and music also gives you something to talk about with your new friends.

See the sights! Encourage your family members to visit museums, sporting events, libraries, parks, theaters, and more to get out of the house and explore. While visiting these places you will be surrounded by people of the local culture. Learn from those experiences. Discover what is important to people in the new culture by looking at museum artifacts or attending theatrical performances. You will be amazed how much you can learn from these adventures!

With these tips in mind, you should feel more secure and confident in your new home away from home. The transition is never easy, but you can get through it. Remember to stay positive and enjoy the experience of living in new place. Many kids never get such an opportunity so take advantage of all there is to learn. Maybe someday, you’ll have the chance to share your experiences with other kids making the same transition.

For your FREE Puerto Rico Welcome Kit, contact your relocation authority, Global Perceptions, today!

5 Relocation Tips for Kids: Pre-departure

I remember sitting at the dining room table in our family home outside Minneapolis when I was about 7 years old. The dinner conversation somehow turned to moving and my parents said that they did not think we would ever move. Boy, were they wrong! By the time I finished high school, I had attended six different schools in four different communities in two different states. All of that change was hard. Leaving old friends behind and having to make new friends every few years was challenging, but when I look back on it all now, I realize that all that change has made me the person that I am today.

Today I use those skills to help prepare other people for the challenges of learning to live in a new community. That includes working with children. Since I know what it’s like to be the new kid on the block (several times over), I want to share some insights with kids going through this process. The following are a few helpful tips for preparing kids for moving day.

  1. Research your new town. Ask your parents to help you find information on the internet about where you will live. Check the population. Look at the weather. Discover what kinds of museums, theaters, or other attractions they have.
  2. Take a virtual tour of the school on their website. Find out what the classrooms look like. Look at pictures of other students. Read about the lunch program or after school activities. Learn which books you will use and whether or not uniforms are required.
  3. Learn some basic phrases in the new language. Even simple things like “Hi, my name is_______” or “What’s your name?” can give you the confidence to interact with your peers.
  4. Talk to your parents about how you feel and ask questions. Discuss your feelings of excitement and anxiety about the move with your parents. Ask them to explain why this move is so important and how it will affect you. Whenever a doubt arises, ask them.
  5. Pack some of your favorite toys, books, and pictures. Being away from everything that is familiar is tough. That’s why I recommend bringing some of your favorite items with you. They can provide a sense of familiarity in a place that is so different from what you’re used to.

These are just a few ideas to help you get ready for the big move. I hope they help you feel more comfortable about moving. Overall, the key is to stay positive. It is okay to have some fears because everything is so uncertain during this time, but look on the bright side through it all. An incredible new adventure is waiting for you on the other side!

 

Global Perceptions, your relocation authority, offers communication and relocation consulting services to people of all ages. Contact us today for more information!

10 Tips for Improving Intercultural Communication

In today’s technologically-savvy world, we have the ability to communicate at lighting speeds with people all over the globe. This creates incredible opportunities to learn from people of other cultures. However, it can also create problems if the parties involved are unfamiliar with intercultural interaction. The next time you find yourself in a situation like this, keep these tips in mind.

1. Be open-minded: When we hear about traditions, foods, clothing, etc., that are different from ours, we tend to jump to conclusions about how weird the “other’s” life is. Although this may be the first impression, we have to remember to keep an open mind. Our customs are likely as strange to them.

2. Avoid judging: When at all possible, steer clear from judging the other person. Without understanding their cultural background, it is difficult to recognize why they do things a certain way. Find out about their culture before rushing to judgment.

3. Listen: In order to truly listen to someone, we need to clear our minds and focus on what the person is saying. Without this focus much of what they say goes in one ear and out the other. Stop, focus, and listen.

4. Ask questions: Be inquisitive without interrogating. Ask what the other person does during festivals or how they interact with family members or what foods are typical. Find out about their background and share yours too! These can be the most interesting conversations.

5. Focus on the content: It can be difficult to understand some people due to heavy
accents. This is likely something that the person is aware of and perhaps even embarrassed by. Help the person out. Listen carefully but focus your attention on the content. You’ll be surprised how much more you will understand if you listen beyond the accent.

6. Be patient: Engaging in intercultural communication requires great patience. Messages may be misunderstood, offenses may be taken, but these things can be resolved with patience and sensitivity. Allow the person a chance to explain. Listen patiently without judgment.

7. Create opportunities: To improve our intercultural communication skills, we have to look for opportunities to develop them. Be on the watch for talks, celebrations, books, and more that will put you in touch with people of other cultures. Review your local newspaper, inquire about groups at the local library, or look online for events. Take advantage of such opportunities!

8. Keep practicing: Developing effective intercultural communication skills does not happen over night. It is a long and involved process unless you grew up in a multicultural setting. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again! Keep at it! Stay positive and don’t give up!

9. Watch others: One of the best ways to learn about another culture is to observe them in their daily activities. Attend a cultural festival, for example, and watch how the dances are done. Pay attention to the costumes, foods, nonverbal behaviors, and general interactions. You’ll be amazed at what you pick up by just watching!

10. Make mistakes: People don’t often encourage us to make mistakes, but that is one of the key elements of becoming effective at intercultural communication. Making mistakes helps us learn. We all are guilty of making cultural faux pas so learn to laugh at mistakes and file away the appropriate action for the next time you find yourself in that situation.

These tips are certainly not the only tips for improving intercultural communication, but they will definitely set you on the right track. Overall, be considerate, polite, and open to learning from others.

For additional tips or information about our wide variety of intercultural communication workshops, please contact Global Perceptions at 787.455.7764. You can also like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter!

Personal Space in Intercultural Settings

Proxemics, or the study of space and how we use it, significantly impacts communication across cultures. People who grow up in the same region inherently understand the rules for how to use space even though they may have learned those rules unconsciously. Those rules only come into question when people break them. If you have ever had a conversation with someone and felt uncomfortable because the person was either too close or too far away for your tastes, you know what I’m talking about.

Anthropologist and renowned intercultural researcher Edward T. Hall is credited with establishing this field of study in the 1950s. He posited that North Americans had four space distances. They include: intimate, casual-personal, social, and public. Only people you know on an intimate level are allowed in the intimate space, while friends are allowed in the casual-personal region. Note that the casual-personal region affords enough space for the two people to avoid touching, but still is close enough for people to use their everyday voices. At 4-12 feet, the social region is used to conduct business. Beyond that is the public space, which is usually used for formal presentations.

If you will be traveling to another country or otherwise interacting with people from a specific region and want to know what their space expectations are, consider researching the way land is divided in their home country. In North America, for instance, suburban and rural houses are built with a sizable area of land around them. In small countries, there is limited space so homes are constructed much closer together. In places like Japan or Puerto Rico, people are accustomed to living in tight quarters so touching is expected. People who stand at a distance are considered cold or even rude. In North America, people expect their distance to be respected. Standing too close to them makes them very uncomfortable.

Even though you may have no conscious intention of offending others, the conversational distance that you choose may in fact be considered offensive. Before you get into these situations, do your homework. Discover what the cultural norms are for that culture and do your best to work within them. This may mean stepping out of your comfort zone, but it will help communication proceed more smoothly so that you can concentrate on what the person is saying and not on how close or far away the person is.

For more intercultural communication tips, join your Global Perceptions, your relocation authority, on Facebook and Twitter!

Global Perceptions Celebrates Multicultural Communication Month

April is here and that means it’s time for Multicultural Communication Month. What is multicultural communication? Why should we celebrate it? In our instant access world, we are constantly in contact with people from other cultures. Taking time to celebrate that interconnectedness is worthwhile because it reminds us how far we have come, but also points to how far we still have to go. This month’s posts by Global Perceptions relate to this unique, yet timely topic.

To begin, let’s take a step back in time. If we look way back to the Ancient Greeks, we discover the first formal studies of oratory and persuasion, which have become the foundation of today’s communication courses. As time goes on, communication grows to include written formats due to increased literacy rates. This is largely a result of the growth of religion during the Medieval times and the interest in transferring religious knowledge to non-literate groups.

Speeding ahead to the 1900s, politicians implement communication not only to win elections, but to garner support for war efforts. By the middle of the 1950s, the Foreign Service Institute begins working with the U.S. military and Peace Corps volunteers to look for ways to make U.S. ambassadors, military personnel, and community service workers more effective within their host countries. It is here that intercultural communication or multicultural communication is born.

Today, multicultural communication includes the study of verbal and nonverbal actions, the impact of religion on culture, how to conduct business across cultures, ethnic influences on our identity, prejudices, perception, context, challenges within education for multicultural people, health care, technology, ethics, listening, and so much more. This field of study has grown steadily with support from business, government, educational institutions, and non-profit groups alike. Now intercultural researchers and individuals have the ability to talk and write about their experiences and have those experiences listened to by others.

As we look forward, we will continue to see the importance of multicultural communication and its influence on our everyday lives. The ability to instantaneously impact hundreds of thousands of people with a single tweet, for instance, has already begun to change the way we live. We can now support causes thousands of miles away from the privacy of our own homes and affect change more permanently than we could if we stood in the middle of the town square crying out for change. This is just one of the reasons why celebrating Multicultural Communication Month is crucial for all of us.

Throughout April, Global Perceptions staff will post about intercultural communication topics to celebrate Multicultural Communication Month. We encourage comments about your experiences with these themes. To join the conversation, simply post your comments here or join us on Facebook or Twitter!

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