Cultural Advisers


Education and Training Requirements

High School

Classes in business, speech, and foreign language will give you an excellent head start to becoming a cultural adviser. In addition, take other classes in your high school's college prep curriculum, including history, mathematics, sciences, and English. Accounting classes and computer science classes will also help prepare you for working in business.

Postsecondary Training

If you are planning a career as a cultural adviser, fluency in two or more languages is a requirement, so college courses in those languages are necessary. Courses in business, world history, world geography, and sociology would be useful as well. You will need at least a bachelor's degree to find work as a cultural adviser, and you may want to consider pursuing a master's degree to have more job opportunities. Many universities offer programs in cultural studies, and there are master's programs that offer a concentration in international business.

Take advantage of every opportunity to learn about the people and area you want to work with, whether Latin America, Europe, Japan, or another region or country. Studying abroad for a semester or year is also recommended.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

There are no certification or licensing requirements for cultural advisers.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Cultural advisers should have extensive experience and language skills in their area of expertise. A combination of study abroad and work experience is highly recommended. 

Cultural advisers are strong communicators who are sensitive to cultural differences. They are curious, always interested in learning more about the people, language, and culture in which they specialize. They are fluent in two or three languages. For government and corporate jobs, they are knowledgeable about the political, economic, and social issues of the countries they work with, to successfully bridge the gaps in negotiations. Diplomacy is essential in their work. They are organized, have public-speaking skills, and are able to work with a wide range of people from various backgrounds.

Knowing the history, culture, and social conventions of a people as well as the language is a an essential part of the job. Also, expertise in another area, such as business, education, law, or computers, is necessary to be a cultural adviser.