When you live abroad you are living in an area completely new to you. You are unfamiliar with many aspects of the culture, and most native born people take this for granted. What can you do to make this transition easier? Here are some tips you should consider doing in order to adjust to a new culture:
1. Learn about the country’s culture beforehand
Take some time before you go abroad to learn about the culture. Familiarizing yourself with a new culture will not only facilitate your ability to adapt, but will also prevent you from having a bigger culture shock.
2. Learn and practice the local language
Language plays an important role when you are trying to adapt to a new culture. Even if you know the language, continuing to learn and practice will help you communicate more effectively with locals and reduce your level of stress.
3. Make local friends
Take the initiative to make small talk with people you meet. Invite friends out and take the time to get to know them. Having a social life will keep you busy and help you with homesickness.
4. Be open-minded
Try to understand the culture and be open to trying new foods and getting familiar with the customs and traditions of your host country. Respect others and understand that things you say might come across as offensive or rude in other countries, just like it is possible that some common reactions or comments in other countries might seem offensive to you.
5. Be patient
Remember that you are not going to adapt to a new culture overnight. It will take some time, but the more open you are to learning and understanding a new culture, the quicker you will adapt.
Do you have any tips? Let us know in the comments below.