cultural horizons institute

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Welcome to The Cultural Horizons Institute:

Cultural HorizonsThe Cultural Horizons Institute is a San Francisco based training firm that specializes training for the next generation of world leaders. We envision a generation of leaders who have developed a mastery of intercultural leadership and communication, and who consciously, comfortably & courageously practice those skills in the world arena.

Our goal is to provide cutting-edge cross-boarders leadership and communication training that teaches language flexibility and mastery of Chinese and American culture and social skills. We encourage our clients to develop an appreciation for world diversity and provide them with the tools needed to use inter-cultural encounters as an opportunities for personal growth and career-related innovation.

Intercultural Communication Training:

Intercultural CommunicationEnhance your communication capability beyond basic language skills. Do you struggle to be taken seriously when speaking your second language due to mistakes and poor pronunciation? Our workshops will help you build confidence and naturalness in second-language communication. Practice accurate pronunciation and accent and learn to express emotions using voice intonation and inflection. Learn to make culturally appropriate greetings, observations, requests, declines and commitments.

Social Culture Training:

Social CultureIncrease your capacity to participate meaningfully in culture-specific social exchanges. Do you wonder about Hip-Hop music and Chinese Karaoke? Catch yourself feeling unsure about which fork to use first, or confused when your fellow diners tap two fingers on the table as the waitress pours tea? This series provides the opportunity for participants to engage in common cultural scripts that play out at home, in the neighborhood, at restaurants, in places of worship and when hanging out with friends. Learn the how and why of the social scene.

Business Culture Training:

Business CultureImprove your intercultural business savvy. Are you at a loss about how to negotiate a culturally appropriate business transaction? Do you that worry your blind spots could lead to big mistakes in the future of your company business? These courses are specifically designed for the emerging leader: to build strong leadership skills through self-understanding, and to challenge the personal assumptions that enlarge cultural gaps and can lead to costly mistakes in the business arena. Learn how to operate in educational, business and government settings in a way that builds respect and trust with members of the host culture.

Culture Tip:

The importance of Chinese guan-xi...

In the early phases of founding the Cultural Horizons Institute, I was describing the curriculum and business plan to a potential investor from Shanghai. With great care I went over in my best broken-Mandarin the carefully thought out details of our approach. Proud that I had gotten through the course description and decidedly ready to answer almost any question that came my way, I was unexpectedly caught off guard by her reply: “But how can I explain to the other investors the value of your program? How will you establish the value to them?” Confused, I struggled to re-explain the content, goal and financial viability of our work. After dancing around conversation in search of a satisfying for the next twenty minutes, I came to understand the nature of her underlying question.  What she wanted to know was: “Who are the publicly well-known endorsers? Who are the team members? With what prestigious university will you be affiliated?” In other words, tell me about your guan-xi – your relationships.


News Flash:

Wall Street Journal:
Personal Lives, Office Lives

Chinese draw the lines between personal and professional life differently than Americans do, and the idea of "colleagues" isn't the same in the two countries… READ MORE

By Li Yuan, published February 19, 2008

New York Times:

As American educators seek to emulate Asian pedagogy... Chinese educators are trying to blend a Western emphasis on critical thinking, versatility and leadership into their own traditions… READ MORE

By Ann Hulbert, published April 1, 2007.

New York Times:
Non Asians Show a Growing Interest in Chinese Courses

With its booming economy and aspirations to expand its global influence, China may have achieved a victory in American classrooms… READ MORE

By Natasha Degen and Winnie Hu, published November 29, 2006.


"I appreciated that the workshop allowed us to step back from our studies and reflect on life. I liked the critical thinking aspect of it and how there was not a black and white clear-cut answer. I also liked the environment that you tried to foster by understanding that people feel vulnerable in situations where they have to speak out in a large group." - University of Pacific Student, Fall 2007

Copyright © 2007 Cultural Horizons Institute, an ontogeny of Thalas, All rights reserved.