Tagged: cultural literacy

Study Abroad: Make The Most Of Your Experience

Greek Orthodox Church
Greek Orthodox Church

You can learn a lot about the world by living for a time in another country.  Employers like to see cultural experience on a resume, especially if they do business with executives who were raised and educated abroad or have contracts with companies in other countries.

When you interview for an internship or job, talk about your time abroad in terms that highlight the value you bring to the position.

Academics: Plan ahead so that you will be able to take courses that meet your graduation requirements.  That might mean saving your electives and completing most of the courses in your major before you leave.  A little investigation may yield study abroad programs that will enhance your major field of study better than others.  When you return, find intersections between your studies and living abroad.

Cultural Exposure: Don’t spend your time with your room- or housemates.  Explore the town or city.  Get to know some of the locals by greeting and beginning conversations however limited your grasp of the language.  Unless advised otherwise, take public transportation or walk.  Make adults your target because they will have a broader perspective and a wider range or experience.  Take note of particular people or events that you will want to share with employers.

Just spending time outside the US isn’t enough to qualify for cultural literacy.  It’s necessary to actually experience the other culture as though it was going to become your own.

Here are some ways to make use of time spent living and learning to “Walk like an Egyptian“.

  1. Visit museums and locally important placesPunakha, Bhutan
  2. Attend festivals, services at the place of worship you favor, public events
  3. If its the custom in the country where you will be studying, learn to haggle and bargain
  4. Speak the language as often as possible.  It makes you look smart and friendly.
  5. Become familiar with customs and laws

Playing it Safe: The laws and customs vary from country to country.  Be respectful of the dress codes for work, school, and casual occasions so that you don’t embarrass yourself or you hosts.  In many places the short shorts and midriff baring tops worn at home are considered inappropriate.

Likewise, the law and customs regarding alcohol, pot and other drugs are different.  As a non-resident you may be judged harshly if you break a law that would earn you a warning if done at home.  Assume that you will not be able to get away with violations that a “townie” (local resident) teenager can slip under the radar.  In most countries you do not have the same rights-an attorney, presumption of innocence, lenience toward young adults- that Americans at home have.  The embassy may not be able to assist you if you get into legal trouble.

In Europe, teenagers may be permitted to drink beer and wine in public establishments.  Being 7 or 8 hours from home will not increase your tolerance for alcohol,  or reduce the likelihood of doing something you wouldn’t do sober.

Bottom Line:  Bring your most mature behavior with you.  Have a good time, meet lots of great people, prepare to use what you experience to help you in the job market.

elephant-241624_640If you are looking for a Gap Year experience outside the US or want to lean how to turn you Study Abroad into a job attracting tool, text or call Stephanie 610-212-6679; the email is stephaine@accessguidance.com.

Cultural Literacy Quiz From A Cereal Box

Educated people know a whole lot more than the tools of their job. Everyone should know a little about important works of art, music genres and literature. Culture, in the form of  visual and performing arts, represents our shared history, greatest hopes and our worst failures.  It is important that collectively and individually we revisit our experiences and values through art and literature.

While pouring cereal* this morning I noticed the quiz on the back of the box and had to take it.  I’m pleased to say, I did pretty well. How about you?

Answer the six questions and see how you do!

1, What name is this author better known by?

This author was born in 1904 in Springfield, MA.  He graduated from Dartmouth College and went to Oxford University in England to get a Ph.D, in Literature.  In 1954, his publisher read an article in Life magazine detailing reading troubles children were having in the US. He asked the author to write a book that would engage  young children and encourage them to read.  In 1960 the author was challenged to write an entire book using only 50 words.  He accomplished both of these tasks.  The author was born Theodore Geisel,

2. Can you name this famous author of one best-selling book?

The author was born on April 28, 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama, a city of about 7000 people.  She attended Huntingdon College1844-45,  studied Law at the University of Alabama 1945-49 and studied one year at Oxford University.  In 1960 she published her book, To Kill A Mockingbird, which won a Pulitzer Prize the following year.  In 1997 she was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters at Spring Hill College in Mobile Alabama.  Professor Margaret Davis said she was being honored for her “lyrical elegance, her portrayal of human strength, and wisdom. (Her second book, written before TKAM, was published in 2015).

3, Solve the mystery and guess who this author is.

This mystery writer’s book have sold over a billion copies in the English language and another billion in over 45 other languages.  She has written 79 novels and short stories and over 12 plays, introducing the beloved detective Hercule Poirot and Jane Marple.  On one of her plays, The Mousetrap, debuted on the London stage in 1952 and is still running today.  For a change of pace she also wrote 6 romance under the name Mary Westmacott.  In perhaps her greatest mystery, she orchestrated her own disappearance for months and never fully ex.  She never fully explained why.  She received her country’s highest honor, Order of Dame Commander of the British Empire in 1971.

4. Which of the following books was NOT written by Mark Twain?

A) The Adventures os Huckleberry Finn

B) Last of the Mohicans

C) The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

D) A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

5. Which title listed below Was written by Ernest Hemingway?

A) The Grapes or Wrath

B) All Quiet on the Western Front

C) The Great Gatsby

D)The Sun Also Rises?

6. Which of the following is NOT a play written by Shakespeare?

A) The Barber of Seville

B) The Merchant of Venice

C) The Merry Wives of Windsor

D) The Taming of the Shrew

The cereal is Honey Oat Clusters sold under the Shoprite label, distributed by Wakefern.

Answers in a previously published post.  You’ll find it then in the next post down.

Cereal Box Literacy Answers

  1. Theodore Geisel is better known as Dr. Seuss
  2. To Kill A Mockingbird was written by Harper Lee.  The prequel that she never intended to publish  reached readers earlier in 2015.
  3. The beloved mystery writer is Agatha Christie
  4. Mark Twain didn’t write Last of the Mohicans.  Daniel Defoe wrote it.
  5. Hemingway wrote The Sun Also Rises
  6. The Barber of Seville is an opera by Rossini

1-2 Correct: You were day dreaming in English class

3-4 Correct: You paid some attention but still spent more time passing notes

5-6 Correct: Congratulations! You are a star pupil