Sunday 24 February 2008

Tips for Living in a Foreign Country

Updated 18 February 2012

Things to Do When Living Abroad
  • Be prepared. Learn how to blend in. Know that culture shock is normal and think about what you go do to fight it.
  • Be respectful. Follow the local culture's customs.
  • Do research. Learn about the country’s history, culture, people and language before you go.
  • Make a list. 30 days to move abroad is a great reference to make sure you have everything you need when you move.
  • Have fun. Try different foods, go dancing, visit other cities, go to festivals, and take photos. Interact with the locals and make friends. Visit local markets and artisan shops and try out your bargaining skills in the local language.
  • Be nice. Compliment the food and culture. Keep an open mind about differences between your culture and theirs.
  • Learn the language. Learn a bit of the local language. People appreciate it when you make an effort to learn their language.
  • Getting moving. Learn to use the local transport system.
  • Show me the money! Learn the value of local goods in the local currency.
Things Not to Do When Living Abroad
  • Stereotype. No one likes stereotypes.
  • Think you're better. Cultures are different. One isn’t better than the other.
  • Be an ugly tourist. Don't stick out by acting or dressing poorly.
  • Carry valuables. Take only the money you need and don’t flaunt your wealth.
  • Comment on prices. Don't compare things to your country and say how cheap things are. They're not cheap for the locals.
  • Be rude. Don't speak English loudly and overuse gestures. Lots of people understand English.
This article has also been published in the ELT Times.


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