Your Intercultural Development Journey
Whether you have completed one, two, or all three modules, you have taken steps towards developing your intercultural competencies. The combination of all three modules provides you with a strong basis to continue developing your competencies through self-awareness, expanding your knowledge, and identifying skills that will help you continue along this lifelong process. What you need to do is to open yourself to possibilities and make the best of a two-way engagement with cultural others.
What Do You Need To Remember?
In order to develop intercultural competence, you need to become more aware of your own culture and how your perceptions, the stereotypes and biases you hold about others affect how you interact with and respond to them. You can gain intercultural knowledge by socializing around people’s food, music, language, and festivities, but even more importantly, you gain cultural insights through interactions and conversations that allow you and others to share perspectives of issues, to learn about behaviours, and to appreciate their history and experiences.
Intercultural skills are developed throughout time, the key to enhancing your abilities are your interactions with people from different cultural backgrounds, you do not need to go abroad to have real experiences if you focus on the people around you. Through meaningful interactions, you are not only learning about others to appreciate cultural differences and similarities, but you are also contributing to strengthening the social fabric. People can learn about you as much as you can learn about others.
Intercultural competence is a journey, a process, and a combination of multiple experiences throughout your life that have an influence in your personal and professional development. The more interculturally competent you become, the more you will understand the world around you. You do not lose anything by learning about others, you gain by learning about them and finding ways to appreciate people, to preserve cultures. You do not have to wait for something to happen, for an opportunity to come to you to engage interculturally or for someone to come and tell you about their experiences across cultures, in a new culture, or within a culture, all of which can be new, different, interesting, hard to hear, and even difficult to process, but it is all part of developing your understanding of others, while also helping others be more appreciative of difference and life experiences.
Awareness, Knowledge, And Skills For Life
Your genuine engagement in these modules can help you become a better intercultural communicator and value the interconnectedness each one of us shares with others within a single or multiple cultures. More importantly, through your continued efforts to expand your knowledge, gain perspectives, and focus on skills development, you will be able to approach anti-racism with more intentionality, equity with more understanding, diversity with greater appreciation, and inclusion with more authenticity.
The opportunities are already around you. Make the best of your journey, embrace the challenges, the learnings, the connections, the mistakes and clarifications, embrace difference, ask questions, understand yourself as a member of one or more cultures, be intentional, be an example, a leader, and supporter, and more than anything be an endless learner: Make this a way of life.
Plenio, J. (2018). Road in Between Grass Field. Pexels. https://www.pexels.com/photo/road-in-between-grass-field-1423597/