Different cultures surprisingly similar
Arizona Republic
Aug. 1, 2006

Sarah Sevier

Youth ambassadors discuss cultural differences.

"They really don't shake hands. They'd rather have a smile. They let you know you're doing something that isn't culturally accepted," explains Carlos Hernandez, a Phoenix youth ambassador just back from China.

Phoenix Youth Ambassador Stephanie Baucher knows she doesn't want to go to school in Calgary Canada. "There they have a test called diploma for Grade 12. It's 50% of your grade. So even if you have an A all year long and you fail this test you're out of luck," says Baucher.

"It's a little different explaining things you would never think of explaining to someone," says Amanda Robertson, from Calgary.

Youth ambassadors learn by truly living another culture.

"I was a tourist, but this time I got to live with a family and experience the culture rather than just the history. I got to experience what they actaully did and how different it is from America," says Phoenix ambassador, Christina Olsen.

Different, but undeniably similar, where it counts.

"Teenagers are the same everywhere. Music, things like that. We all hate school work," says Hernandez.

"We laugh a lot, we play jokes on each other, we have a nice time together, " chuckles Rocio Murillo, a student from Mexico.

Youth ambassadors learn a world of lessons