The Importance of Cross-Cultural Communication


As Ad/PR majors, we are all (or are soon to become) well versed in the art of communication. Though, this is only true in the context of our own culture. Working in within a such a collaborative field, we will encounter many different kinds of people that come from very diverse backgrounds.

When it comes down to it, understanding the importance of cross-cultural communication is important for any organization that has a diverse workforce-which we know that any organization worth working for, does.

Cross-cultural communication involves a much deeper understanding of those who are from cultures that are different than ours. We must educate ourselves on how people from different cultures speak, communicate with one another and perceive the world around them.

 How do you go about doing so, you ask?

There are many ways you can work to become an excellent cross-cultural communicator, such as…

  • Taking a World Perspectives course as an elective. Learning a new language is a great way to learn the ins and outs of a new culture, but you don’t have learn a language to learn about culture. There are plenty of courses, taught in English that explore cultures outside of your own.
  • Joining a cultural club. You don’t have to speak (or even know anything) about the language to join a cultural club. This is a great way to expose yourself to a new culture in a very causal environment with other students, who are often in the same boat as you.
  • Studying abroad. GVSU offers a wide variety of study abroad programs, from faculty lead to partnerships. It’s as easy as picking a place, choosing a program and booking your flight. If studying abroad isn’t your thing, or outside of your budget- travel. Go somewhere that you know very little about and immerse yourself in that culture.

All of the aforementioned are also great ways to make new friends, build your resume and expand your horizons. Don’t deny yourself these great opportunities!

Alicia Saragosa is currently a senior at Grand Valley majoring in Advertising and Public Relations, emphasiszing in PR and minoring in Writing. Alicia serves as the Vice President of Public Relations for Grand Valley’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter, an account associate at GrandPR, and as the President of Il Geranio (GVSU’s Italian Club). When she isn’t in the kitchen whipping up one of her favorite recipes, she is spending time with her family or writing about the connection between the two.

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