Howdy! Now that my semester has come to an end, I have noticed many trends in the way the French interact as opposed to us Americans. Through my classes, outings in Strasbourg, and many other experiences in Europe I have learned a few things. First of all, in both school and work the women have a slightly different dress code. They wear less makeup and usually don’t wear heels. This is because all of the walking that they have to do, whereas we use cars more to get around every day. Wearing uncomfortable shoes is simply impractical and too much make up is unreasonable to them. I also noticed that the French take more time for their meals. A meal is something to be enjoyed and not rushed like us Americans do on our 20 minute lunch breaks. Because of this, they are given very lenient lunch break times. Adding on to the subject of breaks, most people here smoke and take cigarette breaks as opposed to our quick coffee breaks for that much needed mid-day energy. And when the French need more than just a small break, they are offered an abundance more of vacation time. They believe that it is important to balance life and relaxation with work because it makes for a more happy and productive workforce. Even on Sundays everything is shut down, from restaurants to banks, making it very inconvenient if you haven’t done your grocery shopping yet for the week. On more of a business note, the French tend to have a strict hierarchy between coworkers and their employers. It is very evident how formal they can be with their work and it is essential that it is taken seriously. Despite learning all of these differences between American business practices and those of France, all of the friends I have made have showed me many other valuable skills for doing business with those across the world. I learned that Germans are very strong willed and don’t run away from a heated argument about politics like we often try to avoid. Those in the Netherlands believe in having a large amount of trust with their business partners as well as relationships. The Australians have a very laid back culture and do business somewhat like we do. It was all of the wonderful people I have met and amazing experiences I have encountered on my exchange that has given me the intercultural knowledge that I now possess. With this, I will continue to move forward and expand my knowledge in the business world now that I know how valuable it is to have this cultural awareness and know the ins and outs of others in different parts of the world.