How To Make The Best Of Your Intercultural Study Abroad Experience

Studying abroad is one of the most rich and fullfilling experiences. Here’s how to make the most out of it

How To Make The Best Of Your Intercultural Study Abroad Experience

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Have you got recently admitted to an international university? Do you wonder how are you going to embark on this new adventure? You’re going to meet new people and places, learn new things, become more independent, and broaden your worldview in a way you thought you never would. But it is still true that there are plenty of differences and customs you are not used to. Being deeply emerged in a foreign culture can be very challenging at times. Intercultural exchanges demand a lot of cognitive and emotional energy. That is why you should learn some tips in order to create new smooth connections with different people from different backgrounds.

1. Avoid stereotypes

Science has demonstrated that whenever we meet people, we tend to ‘put them into boxes’. We constantly and unconsciously want to categorize them whether based on their looks or the culture they come from. But stereotyping people prevent you from knowing their cores and who they truly are! People are not only built by their national cultures. What they are is a construction of their family, professional, community, organizational, and other cultural layers. That is why try to be open and tolerant, make honest conversations without judging.

2. Be tolerant and empathetic :

Understanding people and getting to know their different cultures and behaviors is crucial to building strong relationships.
We need to remember that most times people are not aware that what they do or say may sound very unusual to other cultures.

3. Be mindful, curious, and open :

Be mindful:
whenever you have the chance to have an intercultural interaction, pay attention to the different costumes of the other culture, and try to observe new things around you as a critical thinker.
Be curious:
Ask questions about the other person/people’s culture, try new food, talk to new people (even if you speak different languages). Have hunger for knowledge.
Be open:
learning about new cultures makes you bigger and better. Every intercultural encounter is a learning opportunity!

4. Have Fun:

One of the most important things when studying abroad is to have fun! Make new friends, hang out with different people, and enjoy your youth! Laugh as much as you can!

So, in a nutshell, you should allow yourself to be more fluid, more likely to open up to new people without judging. Eventually, you will develop a growth mindset.

Tags: Universities, International

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