Describe a foreign country (culture) you want to know more about.
You should say:
What it is
Where it is
How you know it
And explain why you want to know more about it
I’d like to learn more about Mexico. I’ve been watching a TV series set in Mexico recently, and I’m really drawn to the way they speak, their sense of humour and the amazing countryside of the country. It’s a country in south America. So, I know about it mainly from that TV series. I’ve also been to a few Mexican restaurants in Beijing, which I really enjoy. So, I’m quite drawn to the food as well as the impression I have of the place from the TV series. I’ve also heard that it’s quite a dangerous country though, unfortunately, with a lot of drug problems, violent gangs and crime. So I guess certain areas of the country are not very safe for travelling, but I am sure there are areas that are fairly safe, because I’ve seen quite a few holidays and travel programmes about the place. I’d like to go to Mexico one day, and they speak Spanish, which is a language I am really drawn to, so I would quite like to go there and perhaps study Spanish for a year or two and maybe even find a job with some connection between Mexico and China – I believe there might be increasingly close trade ties between the countries and this could mean jobs might require Spanish-speaking Chinese business people to help establish and maintain such relationships. So, there are a number of reasons, a mixture of reasons. I think that Mexico is an interesting country I would like to learn more about.
1. What do you think is the best way to learn about a foreign culture?
I think today the internet is the best way to find out and learn about anything really. Travel programmes, blogs, websites, there’s a lot of ways. Also through exploring their cuisine – I think this is a great way to learn about another culture, too – the food. Getting into the art and music of another country is a good start – for example, if you’re interested in India, you could just go online and search for “Indian Religious Art”, or “Indian Music” or “Famous Indian Stars” and loads of articles will come up. So, today it’s easy to learn about other cultures, it’s a case of having the right attitude and approach.
2. What do you think is the biggest problem when someone works in a foreign country?
The biggest problems are usually communication issues and cultural differences. Communication can be a real problem and working and living in another language culture can be really stressful, especially if you’re not good at languages and don’t pick up languages easily.
3. Someone say that reading is the best way to know about a culture. Do you agree with that?
I think reading is definitely a good way. Much about a culture is revealed through novels and stories, as well as perhaps even travel and guide books and online resources. But also there are travel shows and cooking shows which can be a good way to learn bits about another culture.