Studying abroad can be the most exciting thing ever to come into the life of a college student. It offers mystery, adventure, and the chance to get to know another culture personally. Most adults look back at their study abroad time with nostalgia. Here are 10 tips for how to conduct yourself as a student in someone else’s country…
- Be open to new and unusual experiences. It can be off-putting to compare the place where you are now to the place from which you came.
- Learn the language. Start with “please, thank you, I am sorry, yes (sir or ma’am), no (sir or ma’am), and excuse me”.
- Listen more than you speak. People enjoy being heard.
- Make an effort to remember people’s names and pronounce them properly.
- Understand social titles and address your peers and your teachers with respect.
- Understand the accepted interactions between people groups and know which interactions are considered unacceptable. (Males and females, teachers and students, etc.)
- Treat all of your elders with a public display of respect.
- Establish a relationship with people whom you can trust to answer your cultural and academic questions.
- Get out of the school/dorms and into the culture. Walk and dine and play and worship with the local people. These will be the memories you take home with you.
- Don’t begin a relationship by asking something of the other person. Begin it by offering them something instead, even something as simple as a compliment.
These things will make you a likable and memorable student. People will want to help you and you will have no trouble making friends. People will also look out for your well being and safety and give you an early warning if there is anything you need to know. Be genuine.