Today, I landed in Barcelona, Spain, to kick-off a summer of interning in international public relations. Obviously, being in a different country on a different continent from what I’m used to, things here are a bit weird to me. But, you have to understand that our world is a big place, and people are raised in totally different cultures.
Here in Spain, and Barcelona especially, time runs slower; the work day is shorter and work is done at a slower pace. Coming from the United States, this is quite alien to me, because I’m used to work having set deadlines and full 8 hour work days. Here, I already know I’m only working 5 hours a day at the most. Just because something is different from what you are familiar with doesn’t make it bad or wrong, it just makes it different. Our world history has a trend towards blindly rejecting that which is unknown or different, but it’s our differences that make us unique and interesting.
Public relations is about relating to people, and knowing the differences in different cultures can be the key to successful communication. Traveling, studying, and working abroad are key for public relations practitioners, because it will give them a sense of what makes up our world. Rejecting the unknown is no longer an option, so to successfully communicate with the people of our world we must travel and understand them.
As I spend more time in Barcelona, I will blog more about my experience here.
Do you have any tips or suggestions about working abroad in public relations? We’d love to hear from you.