“How To Be A World Explorer?”
This is a course I am currently taking in NTU. Kind of fun, and I enjoyed it a lot. It educates on something called your Cultural Intelligence Quotient, otherwise known as CQ. It’s like another quotient we need to build on, other than just IQ and EQ. From Wikipedia, Cultural Intelligence is defined as
“a theory within management and organisational psychology, positing that understanding the impact of an individual’s cultural background on their behaviour is essential for effective business, and measuring an individual’s ability to engage successfully in any environment or social setting.”
In simple terms, it means someone with high CQ knows how to interact with people from different culture and cultural values, able to read cultural cues given in verbal or non-verbal form. A person with high CQ will also know how to avoid unnecessary conflict due to cultural differences.
So for my course, I learn about the different cultural values one has, like Uncertainty Avoidance, Masculinity, Long Term Orientation and Power Distance, and also about difference in Motivation, Team Building, Negotiation styles across cultures. Taking this course also allows me to learn more about my own cultural values, and reveal the truth why I always clash with certain kind of people, and why I always click so well with certain people too!
This course is also my favorite course in NTU so far. So much more exciting than any other thing in school. My cultural class is also composed of students from 6 different nationalities – Singapore, Scotland, Finnish, Japanese, Myanmar and Taiwan, this then allows us to work with people from diverse culture!
Putting my CQ to Test!
Part of the course assignment is to shoot a film to depict the difference in culture and negotiation styles between India and Canada. We have a Finnish in our group. An awesome exchange student from Finland. He is my first ever Finnish friend, and its fun working with him. Check out our film below.
Putting my CQ to Real Test!
I thought that we did quite well for the film above, and hopefully we can score quite well. That would test how much we have increased in our CQ before and after the course. However, that’s not all about putting my CQ to test. Now, I’m going to put my CQ to REAL TEST!
Just a month ago, I received a call from National Youth Council and was elated to learn that I was selected as a representative for 2011 China-ASEAN Youth Camp, in China from 3 Nov to 10 Nov. The background of the camp is as follows:
In order to celebrate the China-ASEAN Friendly Exchange Year at the 20th anniversary of the China-ASEAN dialogue relations, and to further implement Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s proposal at the 11th China-ASEAN Leaders Meeting concerning China will continue to invite ASEAN youth to visit China to participate in exchange and dialogue programs including China-ASEAN Youth Camp, Summer Camp, Young Entrepreneurs Forum, etc., the All-China Youth Federation would like to invite 100 ASEAN youth to visit China and participate in exchange programs in November, 2011.
So I will be traveling to China this Thursday, 3 Nov, and will be visiting Beijing, Nanjing and Tianjing in this 7-day trip, along with meeting China and other ASEAN youth representatives too. While this event allows me to make friends with people from different ASEAN countries, it also allows me to put my cultural knowledge to real test!
Real, as in applying what I have learned in my “How To Be A World Explorer” NTU course!
I will learn if any stereotype of Chinese or other cultures I know about are true.
I will be tested on how to communicate verbally and non-verbally with people from other cultures.
I have to check my gestures, if they are offensive to any culture.
Most importantly, I have to know how to resolve any conflict/difference if any happens.
I’m sure this would be a true experience for me to test if my CQ did increase, other than just the academic test which I will take once I return from the trip. I will definitely blog about interesting stories or any cultural ‘bloopers’ that I encounter and share it with everybody here. Probably I can share them with my cultural class too!
I’m so looking forward to this test this coming Thursday.
I’ll be back again here with all my stories! Ciao!
*btw, no Facebook in China, so you might not see me online for 1 week.