As a culminating project in my Intercultural Communication class, we were required to interview someone who’s originally from another culture and have them talk about their experiences and compare their culture to America. After writing a paper summarizing what they said, we also were to present to the class about our person and their culture.
For my case study, I did one of my friends, Rula. She is originally from Palestine and moved to the United States in 2001. Her mother is now one of the Arabic teachers at McDaniel. It was fascinating to learn about her life and the culture shock she experienced. One of the biggest differences I learned about what time means to each of us. In her culture, time is not important and it is normal to be one or even two hours late to something. Here, time is very important and even being 5 minutes late can be a problem. For that reason she continues to adjust to America in that sense.
With all of the presentations, it was really interesting to look at American culture through other people’s eyes. Many people in my class had studied abroad and had friends from all across Europe. I liked learning about other cultural norms and hearing about people around the world. This project was a great way to end the semester because it really applied everything we learned and helped us figure out our individual worldviews.