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I traveled to Poland; Peace Corps: Cross Cultural Essay


brenden 1 / -  
Dec 4, 2012   #1
Please let me know what you think. I'm sure it is riddled with grammar errors. It would be great if those were corrected but I want to make sure that the essay makes sense and stays on topic. Having Peace Corps experience is a plus. Thank you!

Cross Cultural Essay
*Your success as a Peace Corps Volunteer is based on the trust and confidence you build by living in, and respectfully integrating yourself into, your host community and culture (Core Expectation 4). Describe in between 250-500 words an experience you have had living or working in a social or cultural environment different from your own. What specific challenges did you face concerning trust, confidence, and/or integration? What did you learn from this experience that you will bring with you to your Peace Corps service?

I have traveled outside the United States six times in my life. Each experience was different from the next. I can't say I had a true cross cultural experience with all of these times.

My first real cross cultural experience happened when I traveled to Poland. Living with a host family broadened my horizons on what it was like to live in a foreign country. There was only one English speaking member of the family. Many times this member was gone and I was faced with trying to communicate with no language skills Simple things like cooking dinner and doing laundry turned in to tough tasks. I was forced to point and act out what I was trying to do or find. This caused frustrations and of course many laughs. This experience taught me effective and ineffective communication techniques outside of speaking a language. This experience will be key to my Peace Corps service if put in to a country where I do not know the language well.

My second cross cultural experience was when I traveled to Peru , for my third time, to intern at the United States Embassy. Arriving in country, I was truly on my own. Having light skin, blonde hair, and blue eyes, it was safe to say I didn't blend in well. Walking down the street I received many stares and was alarmed when anyone came near or approached me. I had taken Spanish classes but last of those was a year before. Ordering food and drinks, taking a taxi, and trying to navigate around town proved to be arduous tasks. I always thought I was open-minded but didn't realize how close minded I was until this trip. I found myself frequenting American fast food chains and ordering food I was accustomed to. When I would go anywhere my first question was "Do you speak English?" This was no way to integrate myself in to a community and put a bigger target on me for street crime. To fix this I stopped speaking English when leaving my apartment and went to the local restaurants around town. It was challenging at first but brought great rewards. I became very good friends with the owners of these restaurants and was invited to family functions such as dinners and parties. Walking around my neighborhood, I would greet my portero, neighbors, and locals . I finally felt safe, part of the community, and at home. Once arriving in my Peace Corps host country I will do the same things to be integrated in to my community. I know I will never truly be a member of the community but acting in the ways they do I know I will be welcomed easily.

Reference: polishforums.com
dumi 1 / 6,927 1592  
Dec 4, 2012   #2
brenden
I guess you are above the word limit : )

Each experience was different from the next. I can't say I had a true cross cultural experience with all of these times.

why not combine these two sentences and make one?
Each experience as different from the other though I cannot claim that all of them were true cross cultural experiences.

Many times this member was gone and I was faced with trying to communicate with no language skills Simple things like cooking dinner and doing laundry turned in to tough tasks.

Most of the time he was out putting me in devastating situations where I was almost lost in expressing myself to others even in simple tasks such as cooking or washing.
Didgeridoo - / 306 191  
Dec 6, 2012   #3
I have traveled outside the United States six times in my life. Each experience was different from the next. I can't say I had a true cross cultural experience with all of these times.

If you need to eliminate words, you can take this whole paragraph out. It doesn't really do anything for your essay.

The prompt says to pick one experience. To get more specific, choose one place to talk about. Use some dialogue or an anecdote to illustrate what you're saying, instead of just saying it. Like, for Poland, describe how you acted out something and how the people in your host family reacted. It would put a creative spin on your essay.

Overall, you write very eloquently. Good luck!


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