Essay about Intercultural Communication

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Intercultural Communication

Intercultural communication is commonly explained as an interaction between people of 'different cultures whether defined in terms of racial, ethnic or socioeconomic differences.' Human communication consists of verbal and nonverbal messages (language and gestures) which are shaped by gender, social class or culture. Thus, what perimeters define the intercultural exchange and what primary messages do we need or try to convey?
Our communication process or the way we attribute symbolic meanings to words and gestures, in order to express ourselves is shaped by the society in which we evolve. This shared use of codes within a given group of persons, also leads to a common philosophy of life, ideas or
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Although Latin American countries like Ecuador are defined as ?Third World? due to their economical level the lifestyle in Quito, for instance, follows more or less the pattern we know in this part of the world. People, drive to work, eat out and children go to school. However, this system functions with different values, customs or schedule. I spent four weeks in Quito at the Spanish Academy to take transfer credits in this language. During this time period I lived with an Ecuadorian family that is the parents and their two daughters, which allowed me to interact with them on a daily basis. The father, Ramon works in the United States and Marcella, 18, the eldest daughter attends college in Quito where she studies medicine. I found it easy to interact with Marcella because our age difference is not big and we are both college students. In addition she is a girl and we could discuss topics that are relevant to our gender, such as fashion or dates. The fact that this family educational level does not greatly differ from mine helped our communication, and shaped the messages we were exchanging. We were able to discuss many topics from politics to sociological and although they are from a different culture, our views were not radically opposites. However, the pace at which the Ecuadorian society develops made it difficult for me to explain them clearly