Factors Important to Successful Intercultural Adjustments

  1. Open Mindedness… The ability to keep one’s opinions flexible and receptive to new stimuli seems to be important to intercultural adjustment.
  2. Sense of Humor… A sense of humor is important because in another culture there are many things which lead one to weep, get angry, be annoyed, embarrassed, or discouraged. The ability to laugh off things will help guard against despair.
  3. Ability to Cope with Failure… The ability to tolerate failure is critical because everyone fails at something overseas. Persons who go overseas are often those who have been the most successful in their home environments and have rarely experienced failure, thus, may have never developed ways of coping with failure.
  4. Communicativeness… The ability and willingness to communicate one’s feelings and thoughts to others, verbally or non-verbally, has been suggested as an important skill for successful intercultural communicators.
  5. Flexibility and Adaptability… The ability to respond to or tolerate the ambiguity of new situations is very important to intercultural success. Keeping options open and judgmental behavior to a minimum describes an adaptable or flexible person.
  6. Curiosity… Curiosity is the demonstrated desire to know about other people, places, ideas, etc. This skill or personality trait is important for intercultural travelers because they need to learn many things in order to adapt to their new environment.
  7. Positive and Realistic Expectations… It has been shown frequently that there are strong correlations between positive expectations for an intercultural experience and successful adjustment overseas.
  8. Tolerance for Differences and Ambiguities… A sympathetic understanding for beliefs or practices differing from one’s own is important to successful intercultural adjustment.
  9. Positive Regard for Others… The ability to express warmth, empathy, respect, and positive regard for other persons has been suggested as an important component of effective intercultural relations.
  10. A Strong Sense of Self… A clear, secure feeling about oneself results in individuals who are neither weak nor overbearing in their relations with others. Persons with a strong sense of themselves stand up for what they believe but do not cling to those beliefs regardless of new information, perspectives, or understandings which they may encounter.

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