Cultural Differences and Diversity by Samanta Al-Yammouni, Student Volunteer

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In class, teachers often let students talk about cultural differences. However it’s much more entertaining when we experiment it in real life. As we all are from different countries, it happens that we don’t have the same habits, way of thinking, standards, etc. When I hung out with other EC students it was quite funny to witness these differences. For example, Asian people have dinner really early while Spanish people have it very late. So when my Spanish friends suggested a meeting time of 8:30, my Asian friends were confused: they thought it was for a drink but actually it was for dinner. They couldn’t understand why we had to meet so late!

Moreover, depending on culture, some people will be late and some others will be on time and wait on others to show up. So we were always making guesses about who’s going to be late at our meeting points. It’s funny to notice that it’s always the same people and that they always have a “good” excuse.

Texting is also different. Therefore it’s sometimes difficult to understand what people mean, especially when they use abbreviations and icons. My Asian friends usually write: “kkkkk” which means “hahaha” and which I first understood as “okkkkk”. It can lead to some misunderstandings so it’s always good to ask when you don’t get it!

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