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Reflections on Intercultural Learning & Teaching

Four Easy Activities for Developing Values Awareness & Intercultural Competence

intercultural activity Jan 29, 2019

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about values. Earlier this month, my spouse left a high-paying job with no idea what his next step will be. In fact, the same day he left his company, he also left the country for the rest of the month.

The reason he left is because he’d realized he was no longer living in alignment with his core values, primarily family and freedom.

My spouse was born and raised in Spain, which largely shaped his attitudes and values surrounding work, money, and family—attitudes and values that don’t always square with corporate America, especially a high-stress job that requires him to be physically present the vast majority of the time. He has come to realize that while he is happy to work hard, he needs a job that gives him independence and flexibility to be more present for his family.

This misalignment has become increasingly obvious to him as our kids get older and the years away from family in Spain—including aging parents—add...

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​Getting Beyond the Comfort Zone

Update: True North Intercultural now offers a FREE online training on this very topic! It comes with a useful activity and ideas of how you can use or adapt the activity in your context. Click here to enroll in the course now.

I likely never would have met my spouse if I had not consistently and intentionally pushed myself outside my comfort zone while studying abroad.

While spending my junior year of college in Sevilla, Spain, I had what you might call a mantra. I regularly reminded myself of a favorite Eleanor Roosevelt quote: “Do one thing that scares you every day.”

For example, when I stood at the edge of the cafeteria in the residence where I lived one day and surveyed the room, these words rang in my head and inspired me not to sit with the other students from my program, but to instead approach two good-looking guys I had never seen before (go big or go home, right?) in order to make local friends and practice my Spanish. So I introduced myself (in...

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