Culture Values & Distance

Our values are based on what we believe is good or best in the world around us.  Most of our behaviour flows out of our values. Different cultures have different values and the difference between our home and host culture is called “culture distance”. In this course we explore some of these values, consider what makes up our home values, and discover the values in our host culture.

The Culture Values and Distance course includes interactive resources, real-life case studies and discussion with the other participants.

Topics Covered

  • Why is Culture like an iceberg? – The difference between values and behaviour.
  • Why do Western nations and Asian nations always disagree about certain things? – The Concept of Self.
  • Why do some people get special treatment? – Personal and Societal Obligations.
  • Isn’t everyone equal? – Power Distance & Status
  • Why do people leave so much to fate? – The Locus of Control
  • Why can’t people queue up? – The Concept of Time.
  • Why don’t people just say what they mean? – Styles of Communication.

Comments from previous participants

Having lived in my host culture for almost 18 years, I thought I pretty well had things figured out, but the Culture Compass Course really opened my eyes to certain biases I have and areas where I am probably winning some battles but losing the war of truly working alongside and positively influencing the people I came to serve.  This course also reminded me of the need to focus more intentionally on mentoring and training new people in the nuances of this complicated culture so that they can avoid cultural mistakes and more quickly connect with nationals in deeper relationships .  I am very thankful to have been able to participate in this course.  

Steve, USA-Japan

I really enjoyed the class.  It was nicely put together and intermixed with interesting videos, activities and contexts. I particularly like it because it is an on-line course. It gives great flexibility in terms of time spent in participation, reading and responses. The reading material from the Peace Corp was excellent. I also enjoyed reading feedback from the other participants, who came with different backgrounds and understanding of this topic. This course gives me many good ideas on how to approach this topic and even in how to teach this class.  I would recommend this course to anybody who is interested in culture acquisition, especially who has western cultural background and resides in Asian countries. I would also recommend cross-cultural workers take this course at an early stage of their language and culture learning.

Sharon, USA-China

This was my first-ever course online. I was delighted by how much I’ve learned in such a short time. Thank you for putting together this excellent course for us to consider some of the many different aspects of culture. As my husband and I will be entering another culture within 6 months, one we plan to spend many years living in, we will need to be astute culture learners in order to thrive there (not merely desiring to survive there). Going as humble learners is a good stance for us. Thanks for making me aware of these cultural concepts in a fun learning environment. I enjoyed reading the responses by my fellow students throughout the globe and our individual Skype sessions.

Austia, USA

This course was a real eye opener for me. I found the more I learnt the more I “needed” to learn to understand the world around me. I really enjoyed the topic on “Why don’t people queue?” I used to think that it was just basic rudeness and never really understood that there may be other reasons.  This course has set a spark for me to delve further into learning and understanding other cultures. I’m often thinking my culture is the only culture that exists and hence its the right way! How little I know. It was great learning in a straightforward and effective manner.

Lisa, Australia

The presenter’s cultural experience and knowledge are clearly evident in this excellent course. It has bite sized modules that are manageable even with a busy schedule. Having lived overseas for 16 years, I had many “aha” moments during the course as I learnt the cultural values behind the behaviours that I see regularly. It was also fascinating to get a glimpse inside other cultures that I am less familiar with. The course was well structured and very informative, with a good mix of learning activities. I highly recommend The Culture Compass Course!

Kevin, UK

Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay