One of the biggest goals of mine when traveling is cultural immersion. Cultural immersion is a huge topic to me because I believe it to be the only way to truly experience another country. When I travel, I spend almost all of my energy attempting to learn and adhere to local customs and traditions. I have often been asked questions like: doesn’t everyone know that you’re American? Don’t they just know? People know only what you tell them, and not a thing more. I’m not attempting to be pompous, but just because you step out of an airplane that doesn’t mean you are American. Unless of course you were your flag on your sleeve. There are some ways to give yourself away , but mostly you are the one who chooses to give yourself away.
Each week, you will design and carry out a cultural immersion activity for yourself, then write about it.
The experience should expose you to a culture you may encounter in your current or future classroom and
should help you develop a deeper understanding of this culture?s world view, so that you are better able to
contrast diverse perspectives with your own cultural filters. Your goal should be to develop a deeper
socio-cultural understanding of students who may stem from this background.
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If you want to act like a tourist, then you can. People will treat you as such. I’m not going to argue about the difference between a tourist and a traveler in this article, but I think there is a difference. If you wish to immerse yourself culturally, then you have to throw out everything you think that you know about how to act. You have to have an almost out-of-body experience, truly seeking to know: why? Sometimes, there is no answer. Other times, you will be shown answers through sharing. So, how can you immerse yourself in another culture?