Intercultural Communication

Topics: Costa Rica, Spanish language, Latin America Pages: 5 (1084 words) Published: April 16, 2014
Intercultural communication is a big issue in our medical fields today. Dealing with individuals from different cultures is a part of every day life. Intercultural communication is the understanding that different cultures communicate and perceive the world differently. It is very important for individuals to understand this concept in order to interact with one another. The point of the intercultural communication awareness and competency model is to recognize and avoid the breakdowns in intercultural communication. The final results of my survey came to be a 58. After recalculating my score, I had 4’s (11) and 3’s (3) and one 5. My score indicates that I am more aware of intercultural communication and awareness and competence. Even though I did score high, I am still dealing with some barriers to intercultural communication. One barrier is Anxiety, because I do not know what is expected of me. On the plane I actually sat beside some Ticos. I was kind of nervous to talk to them because they did not understand what I was saying. This is an example of my anxiety issues. For example, questions like Will my host parents get mad if I speak English all the time? Will I offend them if I do speak English? Will they get frustrated if I do not understand their Spanish right away? How do I talk to them in general? Those were just some of the questions that were going through my mind. Having the experience with different cultures has toned down my anxiety a little, but I still have it. That is why I wanted to stay with a host family in Costa Rica, so I can really learn their culture and just relax around them. When I arrived to see my host family, they made me feel so warm and at home. I think they knew I was nervous but they did not treat me different at all. I can say that I have overcome my Anxiety this week in Costa Rica. Confidence plays a big part in this barrier as well. Sometimes I will sit outside with my host mom and we will talk about anything. Just the fact that she wants to know about my family and me make it easier for me to relax. My host father does not speak English, so when he talks to me, he works to make sure I understand what he is talking about. This makes me feel so much better because he is willing to learn English, as I am to learn Spanish. I would like to improve my own intercultural awareness by simply interacting with different individuals. I think the more I can get out and communicate with different people; my confidence level will be high and my anxiety will eventually go away. Witnessing my host family in Costa Rica and how they interact through out the community shows me different dimension in the culture. Masculinity versus Femininity is seen a lot in the Costa Rican culture. This culture places a high value on masculine traits, competition, and material success. In a traditional Costa Rican home the woman is a housewife and the husband is the breadwinner. Like my host family, my host mother is a stay at home mom and my host father works. Costa Rica is a Catholic country so most homes abide by the tradition. A big issue here is women not wanting to get sterilized versus the men. Ninety-Five percent of women get sterilized because their husbands do not want to, only five percent of men will get sterilized. Machismo is the term used to describe the male authority, pride, aggression and dominance. Machismo can be seen in friendship, work, leisure and politics. On the other hand some men allow their wives to work and treat them equally. Costa Rica is a nice traditional country. The people are so nice and friendly in Atenas. I was not expecting the people to be so welcoming. The first thought that comes to mind when I think of Costa Rica is Spanish. I took Spanish when I was in high school, so I was excited to learn it again. The fact that I was going to Latin America motivated me to learn Spanish. Images of the beach and Latin dancing come to mind as another motivation. I would think of Latin...
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