Global Jam Spring 2014: Bridging Cultural Differences

Global Jam Spring 2014: Bridging Cultural Differences

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Sasha Gerhardson
March 19, 2014

More than 50 spring interns from around the world gathered for TWC's “Global Jam,” a two-hour workshop focusing on the transition into U.S. culture. This event was organized as a way to encourage international participants of TWC's academic internship program to share their experiences and discuss the phases of adapting to a new culture.

 

Global Jam gives TWC interns from different countries such as South Korea, Brazil, Belgium, Mexico and New Zealand the opportunity to engage and learn from one another. Before the group discussion, the interns were broken up into smaller “bands.” Each band, comprised of four to five interns, was asked to create a band name and perform their greatest hit, showcasing the intern's creativity and teamwork skills.

 

Following the performances, TWC staff members spoke about the process of adjusting to life in Washington, D.C., emphasizing the common experiences that international interns may have such as culture shock or being homesick. The workshop encouraged each participant to share observations and memorable moments they have had since their arrival in the U.S. Some of the responses had the entire room erupting into laughter, such as one student’s shock during a visit to an American grocery store and seeing milk available in gallon-form and cheese in giant wheels.

 

Aside from encouraging cross-cultural engagement and celebrating diversity, TWC’s Global Jam serves to act as a support system during what can be a challenging transition period for new arrivals to the U.S. The Global Jam event emphasizes TWC’s commitment to ensuring that program participants are set on a course of achievement and an enjoyable semester in the nation’s capital.

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