The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

News & Events

June 04, 2021 11:00AM

This past fall I went to live in San Juan for two and a half months. I knew enough Spanish to survive, and I knew enough about Puerto Rican politics and history to know I did not know anything about Puerto Rican politics and history. I went for a job and did not know a single person there (even the guy who hired me had taken another job before I arrived. I booked a hostel to try and meet people, but upon arrival I found that people acted very differently. The residents seemed to all get...

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June 04, 2021 10:39AM

In my day-to-day activities, culture tends to be an afterthought. Even when I am communicating with folks who may speak a different native language, reside in a different country, or prescribe to different norms, my goal for the interaction (i.e., a friendly chat, group project, etc.) always overwhelms a recognition of cultural differences. RGLP shaped my perspective on these ordinary exchanges by bringing culture and intercultural differences to the center of attention. This conscious focus...

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June 04, 2021 10:35AM

According to Urban Dictionary, a vibe check “is a process by which a group or individual obtains a subjective assessment of the mental and emotional state of another person, place or thing...grounded in a belief in patchouli, sage, or karma and sometimes veggie burgers.”

As a staunch believer in karma, I vibe check constantly. When choosing a coffee shop on Yelp, going on a first date, or traveling alone to a new country, I pride myself on my perception: the ability...

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June 04, 2021 10:24AM

As a hapa girl born and raised in Hawaiʻi, my culture is a mix of many. Half Chinese and half white, I grew up with the influence of both Chinese and American traditions. I grew up folding wonton and grilling burgers, playing mahjong and uno. I was also greatly influenced by the other cultures around me—Hawaiian culture, Japanese culture, Filipino culture, Samoan culture, and so many more.

My family moved to Hawaiʻi when my father was three years old and my grandfather, a marine, was...

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June 04, 2021 10:19AM

The advent of globalization has brought about rapid development and opportunities for intercultural exchange at an unprecedented rate. The coronavirus pandemic had also further catalyzed collaboration across borders through online platforms such as Zoom and Slack, changing the way we interact with our friends and family on a daily basis. However, increased opportunities in global interaction has also increased friction between groups of people due to a lack of cross-cultural understanding...

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June 04, 2021 10:11AM

I am 20 years old. I am a 20-year-old male. I am a 20-year-old male from California. I am an agnostic, upper-middle-class, second-generation, 20-year-old Asian American who was raised in Irvine, California. There’s a nearly infinite number of descriptors and experiences which have shaped me, and by extension, my culture and beliefs. To summarize them all in a single sentence would be a disservice to my uniqueness and the same holds true for all people.

 Being the...

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June 04, 2021 10:07AM

Most people structure their social and work lives to intentionally avoid ambiguity. In the age of information, with millions of Google search results at the tip of our fingers, a lack of clear and direct information may make some leaders uneasy. However, tolerance for ambiguity is crucial to a person’s ability to operate effectively in an uncertain and rapidly changing environment. The best leaders can maintain internal consistency, even as external circumstances are ambiguous or rapidly...

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June 04, 2021 10:02AM

I was born in France and grew up on the island of Maui, meaning that I was exposed to a bicultural way of life from a young age. My own culture and the ways in which I define it has largely been informed by my family, our language, and our traditions. I remember being a child and never knowing what to say when people asked me where I was from, as I got older I realized the experiences I was given as a child were truly a blessing. When I think of globalism and being a global leader, I don’t...

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June 04, 2021 9:48AM

I had my first international travel experience during a two-week high school class trip to Taiwan. After a sixteen-hour flight, we explored eleven major cities, each strikingly different from my hometown in central Jersey. Although we did frequent some tourist attractions (making pineapple cakes, bargaining at night markets, paddling at Sun Moon Lake), there were several cultural barriers that brought me out of my comfort zone. Most obviously, there was the language...

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June 04, 2021 9:40AM

Unlike what seems like many of my peers, the culture shock of going to college on the east coast terrified and challenged me but I have never once regretted the transition and I am excited to keep pushing myself into such situations. I am from a small town in Colorado and grew up in a rather intense religious bubble that became stifling and downright harmful to my young queer self. I had grown accustomed to this little bubble and although in many ways I did not quite fit in, I was...

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