11 May What Happens When We Talk to People from Other Cultures
On the way to the airport in Copenhagen to return home to the US, I chatted with our young driver. Tudor, I learned, studies architecture at a Danish university. He is an international student from Moldovia and drives transports to supplement his education allowance. Tudor said he has struggled with English, the language of his program, which made his studies challenging. He has friends among international students at his university, but has found getting to know Danes, difficult. He said he did not feel accepted, especially by Danish women.
As we talked I realized I knew nothing about Moldovia—not even where it was located on a map. But I understood the struggles of a young man making his way with his education and social life in a new land, and hoped I provided a sympathetic ear.
Back in the US, I found Moldovia on the map, read about its problems following the collapse of the Soviet Union, and it’s off-again-on-again relationship with the European Union.
I felt enriched by this short human exchange that introduced me to another’s world.