Get a head start.  Check out the topics above to learn about common complications in adjusting to a host country’s unfamiliar customs and values, and get tips on how to stay both culturally sensitive and personally secure.

 

 

Want the best piece of advice to help you navigate your time abroad?

 
 

 

DON'T LET YOUR COMMON SENSE GET LOST IN TRANSLATION.

What is common in the U.S. is not what is necessarily common in India, Honduras, Egypt, or Ireland.  Though intuition is universal, its surroundings are not.  Throughout the world, people in different regions hold varying perspectives on subjects from customary greetings to the roles of women and men in society.  Now consider that people from every culture and region that we visit also hold (and act upon) stereotypical “perspectives” of who Americans are... and this whole abroad thing could start to make your head spin.

But good news: if you simply learn to fine-tune your intuition to your new cultural contexts, you will be well prepared for one of the most inspiring experiences of your life.  Congratulations!  You are no longer exploring the world from a textbook; you are engaging within a culture itself.  So educate yourself on how that culture thinks and acts, and how it may react to you.  If you study how to remain open to a new way of life while remaining true to your personal boundaries—physical, emotional, social, and moral—you will gain insight into yourself and the richness of the world.

Related Links