Cross cultural differences and experience

Different Cultural Backgrounds and Experience





Different Cultural Backgrounds and Experience

New York is a vast state, which is inhabited by many people from different cultural backgrounds. Cross cultural differences, which include an open minded cultural society where people of the same ethical background would be found interacting together at ease among others, are one of the most intriguing aspects of the city (Jones, 2008). It was during my student exchange program to a school in Manhattan. During my five month stay, I came across several challenging intercultural incidents that made it almost impossible to perceive as compared to my home city’s experiences.

One of my encounters took place at the school yard. Back in Europe, it was a good thing to say hello to your fellow colleagues in the morning because it signified friendship, positive attitude, and also a warm gesture to kick start your day. When I embarked on greeting the students at my new school, I was dumbfounded by the harsh response I got. It then dawned upon me that the American culture was quite different and interacting with new people is a big problem. People do not greet each other, they mind their own business and the only greeting known to them is a kiss on the cheek or a hug but happens on certain occasions.

I experienced another cross cultural experience when I boarded a taxi. The American Society names their streets as per the names of famous people, events, and sceneries like the Atlantic Ocean among other methods. While in Britain naming of streets was as a result of different immigrant communities situated there. At home going to a Jewish community was easy because you could use a Jewish term used to describe the street. I had a problem with the taxi driver when I was explaining myself regarding my destination. The taxi driver could not understand what I was saying until I vividly described my agenda. This encounter proved how different cultural backgrounds could result to social interactions.

Time and effort are the essential tools for dealing with cultural differences. Regardless of all my encounters that proved a problem at first, the city of Manhattan offered a spectacular array of different activities, including cultural history and beautiful sceneries.


Jones, M. E. (2008).Education Policy – International Comparative Education. Retrieved November 28, 2012, from