Essay 153 – To learn about the cultures of other people

GT Writing Task 2 / Essay Sample # 153

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

It is not necessary to travel to other places to learn about the cultures of other people. We can learn just as much from books, TV, films, and the internet.

Do you agree or disagree with this proposition?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Model Answer: [Disagreement]

The world is becoming more multicultural, and so a burning question arises whether it is no more essential to travel abroad to learn about foreign cultures as we can acquire a sound understanding of other cultures by reading books, watching TV, movies, and browsing the internet. In this case, I think that those tools help learn about different cultures, but I firmly believe that travelling overseas is of profound importance to gain an understanding of different cultures.

We, historically, have reached where no one has ever reached, perhaps because the cutting-edge technology offers unprecedented exposure to other cultures. In fact, technology blurs the national boundaries between countries. Now people can get exposure to the culture of a country, in the blink of an eye, which is hundreds of thousands of miles away. For instance, if people want to know about the lifestyle of the Huli, a famous tribe on Papua New Guinea, all they need to do is to only go to a search engine like Google or Bing and they can find many web resources about the Huli. Apart from that, people can learn about culture from books and documentary films as well.

Having said that, travelling abroad is an effective way of learning about foreign culture even in this age of modern technology. Travelling paves the way to becoming culturally immersive. Cultural immersion, in common parlance, is an act of surrounding oneself with the culture of a specific place or country. Being involved in an exotic culture allows people to see the world from a different perspective through a new lens. Not only does it provide people with a different paradigm of thoughts, but it also helps learn the language in the real-life context. Coupled with acquiring the language, people can judge certain things in different shades, or comprehend the nuanced nature of everyday life. Thus, people can assimilate the culture of a place they travel.

In conclusion, travelling overseas is a great way to understand cultures because it allows individuals to be exposed to the realities of living an ordinary daily life in the country, instead of the romantic glimpse an individual gets from books, movies, TV or the internet. This is why travelling is still essential, as it was ever before, to learn about a culture and place.

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