In practice

Overview
  • While working in cross-cultural contexts can be very challenging, it is also rewarding.
  • Don't let fear of making a mistake stop you from engaging with people from other cultures.
  • Accept that you will make mistakes and that people will usually be tolerant if they can see that you are trying.
  • Try to learn from your mistakes and share that learning with others. 

In practice itinerary

 

Beware of generalisations
The level of information you can get by reading a book or going on a course generally leads to stereotypes. Stereotypes may be useful in giving you an indication of what you might expect when engaging with a person of that culture. Stereotypes can be dangerous if you forget that they are only an indication - they do not apply to all people, all of the time, or in all situations.
 
Do not jump to conclusions
It may seem obvious what is going on in a specific context, but there may be factors you are unaware of or indicators that you are not able to 'read'. One way to minimise the risk that you will inadvertently hurt others through your cultural ignorance is to start from the assumption that a person's behaviour is appropriate until you have evidence that it is not (for example, you have checked it out with someone who would know).
 
Try the Travel Cultural Safety Activity