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In the upcoming week, we’re featuring guest blogs from our very own Pagoda Participants. We want to highlight some students who have written about their experience in the Pagoda Projects Global Competencies programme. Here we have Jai Boucher, from Lancaster University, who finished up the Global Competencies programme just last week!


 

The Pagoda Projects programme has been valuable in better understanding the different types of places and cultures that exist in the world, how to best work in them, and what you can learn from them. The part I enjoyed most about the programme was the Cultural Fluency course. Other cultures around the world and how they differed from others wasn’t something that I had had much interest in or had given much thought. However, after learning about the different cultures that exist in the examples they showed us, that being Mexico, Vietnam and China, I can say that this course opened my eyes and sparked an interest in the topic.

Learning About China – One of the presentations we viewed
Learning about Different Cultures

It was interesting learning some of the radical differences that come with each culture. An example of this for me is the idea of “Face” that exists in Chinese and Vietnamese cultures. It was quite interesting to think about how I would be seen in and react to such a culture. It also made me reflect on my culture and how it has affected me. The other important part of this was also learning how to be less ignorant/stereotypical towards other cultures and how to be more accepting. The self-analysis and understanding of other cultures allowed me to grow on a more personal level.

The experience made me realise our environment has a much bigger role in our perspectives and peoples’ perspectives in general than I realised.

Having a Cultural Mentor

Another part of the Pagoda Projects I enjoyed was having a cultural mentor. Getting to know someone from a completely different country that I had never met before was quite enjoyable. We taught each other a lot about each other’s countries (hers being Mexico), what cultures are like there, how that had affected the way we see things etc. It was also interesting to talk about our goals and our values and how that was affected by our upbringing. The experience made me realise our environment has a much bigger role in our perspectives and peoples’ perspectives in general than I realised.

Here is a photo I shared with my cultural mentor.
Building Self-Development Skills

Aside from cultural fluency, the other digital skill courses, digital competency and employability, were also a great help in my self-development. They taught me skills such as how to better use my LinkedIn, what employers are looking for, online tools and resources for further learning/development, or just general use. All the digital courses provided great links to videos such as those made from TED talks and others which provided a greater in-depth understanding of the topic. Overall, the Pagoda Project programme has taught me things that I will consider and use, in both my personal and professional life.

 

Learning About Vietnam