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Mentor Advice

Question

How can you prepare to be immersed into a new culture before you go abroad?

3 Replies from Mentors

  • mentor picture Marie
     
    Marie
    Senior Year Student
    Loyola Marymount University
    Do research on the country. Learn about their local customs and laws, how they are different from...
    Do research on the country. Learn about their local customs and laws, how they are different from your own country, their language, and what they eat and drink.
  • mentor picture Amelia
     
    Amelia
    Senior Year Student
    University of California, Los Angeles
    Take a few minutes out of every day to go over some short language clips on YouTube.com to learn...
    Take a few minutes out of every day to go over some short language clips on YouTube.com to learn basic phrases such as "Hello" and "Thank you" in the language spoken most widely in your host country. It would also be important to memorize phrases such as "no meat" if you are vegetarian or "no peanuts" if you are allergic to peanuts, etc. Another good way to immerse yourself into a new culture is by watching a foreign film that is from your host country, so if you are going to China, ask around or google "classic Chinese cinema." If you don't have time for that, a good alternative is simply to keep up with world news on websites such as CNN.com and BBC.com so that you are not completely out of the loop when you arrive into your host country. It's also cool if you look up some of the current pop music because people will be really impressed if you know a popular song!
  • mentor picture Shannon Wilson
     
    Shannon Wilson
    Sales Representative
    Polymer Science, Inc.
    You can prepare to be immersed into a new culture by preparing an open mind. Observe your everyday...
    You can prepare to be immersed into a new culture by preparing an open mind. Observe your everyday activities at home. How do you greet others? What kinds of food do you eat? How do most of your classmates dress? What are the gender roles in your society? Once you identify some of your own cultural norms, you can start to get an idea of how other countries might have varying norms. Ask yourself how you might react to new foods, music, etc. Preparing yourself to keep an open mind is the best thing you can do before going abroad.
 
 
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