'In what ways is the study of intercultural communication theory relevant to international students, or not'?
The practise of intercultural communication appeared many and many decades ago, since the first people from different tribes met each other and tried to communicate. The important question is – how to explain what is communication and how human beings are using it to understand each other.: According to Griffin (2006) communication is the management of messages with the objective of creating meaning. It is clear that people communicate with each other for informative, persuasive, or entertainment purposes, which means that the purposes are always complete and number of participants are not limited. The definition of culture is much broader compared to the definition of communication. Culture involved in different aspect of every person’s daily life. British anthropologist Sir Edward Burnett Tylor introduced the first definition of culture, he said, “ culture is that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society”(Tylor, 2012). In simple word there are a wide variety of factors that formats culture and influences one’s perception of culture. This essay will explore how international students encounter different cultures, students’ responses on different culture, also the essay will prove or refute relevance to international students of the study of intercultural communication. In addition the essay will investigate the ways students adapt to new cultures. Being an international student, means getting new cultural experience, encounter with new cultural practices and facing language barriers. Leaving and communicating with people who come from different cultures, suggests that they should adapt to each other’s cultures, or not intervene in cultural practises of each other and simply respect them. A student coming abroad to study already has a set of knowledge about the particular country he or she is going to study in. It is possible that some students will encounter with different cultural shocks, for example for me personally, coming to UK and seeing that a female person could be a bus driver is very unusual. The cultural differences are what distinguish one’s culture from another one. It includes the language, traditional food, daily routine known as cultural practices, religion, clothes, even a particular model of behaviour. Adrian Holiday (2013) gave a definition to cultural practises; he said “ they are tangible items which are the produced outcome of the complex forces of culture which are indicated in the rest of the grammar.” Every culture has its own practices and when international students encounter with new ones, they make statements about them in their head and form an opinion on that. Leaving and studying in a new cultural environment allows students to understand culture better than the study of it, because in order to learn one has to experience it. Some students who are not interested in culture are choosing to get a bare minimum knowledge just to co-exist with the people around. Others choose to gain more intercultural communicating skills to feel themselves more comfortable surrounded by people coming from different cultures. Hopkins(1999) says that today , “in their objectives and mission statements, most institutions include some version of ‘knowledge of other cultures’ as a component of a liberal education”. There are a lot of advantages of studying intercultural communication, which can possibly prevent from bad experiences in the outside world. The students might use the knowledge of cultural grammar, practical social structures, universal cultural processes or different statements about different cultures. Other advantages of the study allows students “to be prepared to expand and adapt other beliefs about how thing are, to be more...
References: Brislin, R. (1996). Intercultural interactions. 2nd ed. Beverly Hills: Sage Publications.
Griffin, E. (2006). A first look at communication theory. 6th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill.
Holiday, A. (2013). Understanding Intercultural Communication. 1st ed. Oxford: Routledge.
Tylor, S. (2012). Sir Edward Burnett Tylor (British anthropologist). Encyclopedia Britannica. Available at: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/611503/Sir-Edward-Burnett-Tylor (Accessed 11 Apr. 2014).
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