Mexico, South Africa, Italy, Canada, Nigeria, Turkey, France, USA, Ukraine, UAE, Greece… Can you imagine all these countries fitting in one classroom? Well, my IAP colleagues come from the countries listed above and I can tell you that working together with people from all over the world is a truly exciting experience. It is not always easy though as cultural differences do exist and conflicts are easy to result.
Here some examples:
When an Italian colleague says: give me 5 more minutes, he actually means 20 minutes…. this can be very stressing for a French colleague.
When a Greek colleague talks to someone, there is always eye and body contact…. this is rather difficult to handle for a Canadian colleague.
When a Mexican colleague is involved in a conflict, he tends to react very emotional… this will cause misunderstanding to his American colleague as he would face a conflict on a rather abstract level.
These differences helped me to enrich my intercultural awareness and to improve specific working skills!