My name is Tope Emiola, and I am a junior from Houston, TX. Iâm double majoring in Global Health and Asian and Middle Eastern Studies with a concentration in Arabic language. I also have the pleasure of being part of the Global Engagement Program with the International House this semester.
During my time in the program, Iâve had the opportunity to engage with many people of different cultural backgrounds. From casual conversations with international visiting scholars to one-on-one sessions with my language partner, the program has truly pushed me to deepen my cross-cultural communication.
My biggest take-away from the Global Engagement Program is the importance of adaptability. This lesson came almost immediately in my first activity of the Global Engagement Program. I was required to lead a discussion about foreign language education to a group of 8-10 people. Each member of the group differed in his/her English-speaking ability, accent, and confidence level, which posed a challenge for the entire group. Recognizing this in the beginning of the activity, I was forced to alter my approach throughout the session. I adjusted my volume, speed, and pronunciation to cater to each individual.
This activity set a precedent for the maneuvering I would have to perform throughout the semester. With each conversation, I strive to utilize the skills Iâve gained this semester through my involvement with the Global Engagement Program. There is no single way to communicate with someone, especially in cases of cultural or language difference. One must be perceptive, receptive and adaptive in all cross-cultural engagement.
Class of 2015