Intercultural Communication Experience

BUS 340 A – Intercultural Communication for Business

Dr. Susan W. Herrera

Spring 2019


Intercultural Communication Experience – Experience and Reflection Paper



The goal of this assignment is to encourage you to learn about a different culture, through an interactive experience with individuals and groups from another culture that is different from yours.  The most effective way to learn about a different culture is to immerse yourself within the culture, and then reflect on the experience.  For this assignment, you will select an intercultural activity, participate in this activity, and write a paper.

Learning Objectives:

As a result of this experience you will

Develop new knowledge and gain a deeper understanding of a culture that is different from your own.

Demonstrate an increased ability to understand and be mindful of cultural differences, including a deeper understanding of your own assumptions and perceptions.

Experience, understand, and reflect on the “feeling” of being immersed in another culture that is different from your own.

Reflect on this experience by analyzing how your intercultural interaction helped you improve your intercultural communication skills.

Part One – The Experience:

Select an event that involves a culture that is significantly different from yours.  Plan to spend at least 2 hours participating in the event.  Select events that require (as much as possible) for you to be a participant and not simply an observer.  Make sure to take notes and photographs (if culturally acceptable. Always ask for permission first before taking photographs.

You will submit a proposal for your intercultural experience by the due date for the proposal. ALL INTERCULTURAL EXPERIENCES MUST BE APPROVED IN ADVANCE BY DR. HERRERA.  The proposal will include the following information:

What is the intercultural event (describe)?

Why do you think this event is appropriate for your experience?

When will you participate in this event?


Sample events include:

Religious ceremonies of a religious group that is different from yours. For example, if you are a Christian, you could attend a Jewish or a Muslim worship event.  Avoid attending a service that is of another Christian denomination, unless it is of another Christian group that is serving a specific cultural community such as Hispanic Christian churches with services in Spanish.

Participate in a festival of another culture where you would have the opportunity to interact with the participants and learn about their cultures.

Attend a “coming of age” ceremony of another cultural group such as a “quinceaňera” in the Mexican culture, or a “bar mitzvah” in the Jewish religion.

Arrange a visit to attend a class at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind.

Interview a local businessperson from another country (questions must be pre-approved by Dr. Herrera)

Volunteer at a refugee or other emergency shelter for one day.

Some suggestions for ideas for your experience in St. Augustine and Jacksonville:

World of Nations Celebration – Feb. 23-24 – Jacksonville (source to find out about some cultural groups in Jacksonville)

Menorcan Cultural Celebration – March 2 – St. Augustine

Islamic Center of St. Augustine

Islamic Center of Northeast Florida

St. Paul AME Church St. Augustine (African-American Methodist church)

Interview a local businessperson from another country to learn about his/her country, culture, and business practices (example Mr. Marco Barrera, from Mexico, owner of Casa Maya restaurant).

St. Francis House emergency homeless shelter.

Florida Dept. of Children and Families Refugee Services

Your suggestions?

Part Two: The Paper

Your paper will be 6-8 pages (not including reference page, appendixes, and cover page), double spaced, and will include two sections:

The first section will be a paper in which you will research the cultural group that you selected for your experience. Focus your paper on an area that is relevant to the experience you will be having.  For example, if you participate in a religious ceremony, you will study in depth, the religion, the cultural groups that traditionally worship this religion, historical information, relevant cultural issues such as migration, human rights, business, etc.  Your resources should include at minimum 2 journal articles, and 3 other sources such as news media, magazine articles, reference books,  brochures, and others that are reliable references. Use APA guidelines for citations and references:

The second section will be a reflection paper on your experience.  As you write this part of your paper, answer the following:

What did you learn from this experience? 

How did this experience help you understand and be mindful of other cultures?

What did you learn about yourself, and your own assumptions, biases, or perceptions, as a result of this experience?

How did this experience help you to improve your intercultural communication skills?  Link to what you have learned about intercultural communication, cultural intelligence, the dimensions of culture, cultural identity, and developing intercultural sensitivity. Give specific examples.

How do you think this experience will help you grow in becoming a better intercultural professional? Give specific examples that will relate to your future career goals and aspirations.

Due Dates:

January 30: Proposal for Intercultural Experience.

March 1: Intercultural Communication Experience paper due.

Suggested readings:

Abramson, Neil R. & Moran, R.T. (2018). Managing cultural differences – Global leadership for the 21st century, New York, NY: Taylor & Francis/Routledge

Matlins, S.M. & Magida, A.J. (Eds.).(2015). How to be a perfect stranger-The essential religious etiquette handbook (6th Ed). Woodstock, VT: Skylight Paths Publishing.

Morrison, T. & Conaway, W.A. (2006). Kiss, bow, or shake hands (2 Ed.). Avon, MA: Adams Media.

Storti, C. (2007). The art of crossing cultures – Second Edition. Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural Press.




















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