BLOG : WHAT I LEARNED IN THE COURSE

Writing my last blog, blogpost number 7, I can look back at a successful semester. A semester full of the subject globalization. Looking back, I can divide the semester in 3 different stages; the history of globalization, globalization nowadays and last but nog least, globalization in the future. All these different stages contributed to my journey in understanding of the complexity of globalization and intercultural communication.

At first, in the beginning of the course, I thought globalization was really simple. In my opinion could you name something globalization, the moment you put something ‘foreign’ for that particular country across a border. This view on globalization started to change the minute I started the course. Globalization and its complexity amazed me and I learned to look behind the obvious. For starters I read an article about the 5 different dimensions of globalization. Economical, technological, political, environmental and social-cultural landmarks where put on a timeline. The different dimensions and the different timelines could been completely different from a ‘Dutch’ point of view instead of a ‘American’ point of view.

People decide the important landmarks based on their own knowledge, actually based on their history books. The details people read and learn in their childhood constitutes in a various amount of globalization timelines. History books are made by the government and are mainly interpreted for the good of own country. So, some big history points are left out and others are wrong written. This way you can create a different way of looking at the world or at globalization. Western people have for example a different view then others. Globalization nowadays changes and makes the culture as it is now.

The way of approach towards globalization can also effect the timeline on a big scale. For example, in 1969 Armstrong landed on the moon. You could say that this was the first big achievement in space, but you could also say that this is the first global media event. After all, everyone was looking at the same achievement all over the world through media connections.

Besides the different point of views on globalization and the impact of it, I also learned a lot of looking behind the obvious. For example the story of the Folkingestraat. I have lived all my life in Groningen but I never noticed such a big landmark. Some things just aren’t so obvious as they seem.

An other interesting article I read was the one of Van Asperen. He designed an Intercultural Paradox which contained different kinds of group dynamics: monism, relativism and communicative moral universalism. The dynamics show different ways to look at culture, mans and diversity. I am always really curtain about the fact that I am a really open minded person. I accept individuals the way they are. Nevertheless we experienced some ‘us-them’ dynamics within our group. The moment we started to work on our teamcontract we noticed a difference in cultural work ethics. At first we thought we had to make a choice between our two different work ethics. But, we could also meet in between and meet each other in the middle. Why did we want to make a choice so badly, if we could simple discuss a way that suited everybody. Besides that, I also experienced an ‘us-them’ dynamic myself especially. I found it hard to write the english assignment. I thought my english wasn’t that quite good as the english of the Marymount students and was afraid to make mistakes. After a while the team members supported and encouraged me which resulted in a big portion of motivation.

In spite of our busy schedules we managed to meet and maintain contact on a regular basis. We didn’t meet up that much but when we did it was a successful and effective meeting. We were a little group but with very diverse. Our group consisted of seniors, athletes and internships etc. Working on assignments and presentation wasn’t that hard in communication, everyone liked to speak up and tell their side of a story. We all were individually different but we all listened the each others voices. A lot of different interests, opinions and ideas but all with the same purpose: getting to know globalization and learning about this subject.

An other eye-opening moment was the one in the picture assignment. When Jonas and I were looking for the pictures, we were walking around Groningen. I was surprised by the assumptions we sometimes made. There were different kinds of paintings around the Dot at the Ebbinge streets. The first thing that came to our minds was the fact that the girl on the painting, couldn’t be a dutch girl. But why couldn’t she? Because of the dark collared hair and the collared skin? Judging somebody on their appearance is the biggest mistake you can make in the global world nowadays. A girl with Asian or Italian roots, can defiantly be a dutch girl but is here own individual within the community. So maybe we don’t need to talk about a Dutch, Italian or Asian culture, but we do need to talk about a global community.

Last but not least I enjoyed the global village. I learned a lot about working on a level like this. Being miles away but being capable of communicating this way. To listen to all the different stories from students, but also from Loes, was something I enjoyed most. Technologic brought us together and thought me one important think: everything stands with communicating. My advice for future students is to just start talking right away, get to know each other! If you know the weaknesses and strengths of your group members, working together is much easier. Cooperating may seem hard and it may look scary to communicate in a language which is not your native language, but telling your teammates helps them to understand you and they will help you with your assignments. You need to feel and be a real team. That’s the only way you are getting a nice meaningful experience is when you check up on each other and can trust your team.

The global village thought me a lot and more importantly I enjoyed this interdisciplinary course the most.

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