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Mentor Advice

Question

How did you interact with the locals and immerse yourself in another culture?

4 Replies from Mentors

  • mentor picture Marie
     
    Marie
    Senior Year Student
    Loyola Marymount University
    My friends and I occasionally ate at the student cafeteria where we met many students. This...
    My friends and I occasionally ate at the student cafeteria where we met many students. This became our “usual” lunch hangout when we did not eat in the city’s restaurants. Before or after class and during the weekends, we frequented a couple of cafes and so over time employees recognized us as “regulars.” Sometimes I met people in restaurants, particularly when it was crowded, since there is no problem being seated with strangers. Usually, we would politely ignore each other but there were times that the strangers would overhear my friends and me talking and want to practice their English.
  • mentor picture Sara
     
    Sara
    Student Program Coordinator
    USC Master of Education Program
    In my program, American students were often housed together and placed in classes together away...
    In my program, American students were often housed together and placed in classes together away from the Irish students. While it was comfortable to be surrounded by people from my home country, I found this frustrating because I felt I missed out on a lot of interaction with local students. During my second semester I requested housing with Irish students. I also researched different course options that had more Irish students enrolled. I was able to interact much more with local students when I stepped outside of my comfort zone.
  • mentor picture Amelia
     
    Amelia
    Senior Year Student
    University of California, Los Angeles
    The best way to interact with locals and immerse yourself into a foreign culture is to learn the...
    The best way to interact with locals and immerse yourself into a foreign culture is to learn the language. I learned Turkish when I went to Turkey for four months. Although I am not fluent in any way, I tried my best to manage the colors, numbers, basic phrases, and conversation pieces (eg. I go to school in California, I am American, I love Turkey). The key to gaining the locals' trust in you is to learn the language, because that will eliminate the barrier of foreign identity to them. You will be surprised with how welcoming people become once you are able to relate to them in the same tongue!
 
 
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