Cultural Immersion means integrating yourself into another culture, interacting with locals and understanding the way others live. Whether you are studying abroad for a year or for spring break, there are different tips you can follow to help maximize your experience abroad and better understand your host country.
Here are some tips to help you immerse yourself in your host country:
- Learn social norms before traveling.
- Social norms can range from greetings, how to behave in public settings and more. If you learn to use societal norms, locals will become more responsive to you.
- Avoid private transportation
- Travel like the locals do! Use buses, trains and bikes when available. The best way to get to know your host city is to explore it on foot.
- Put down your technology
- Log out of social media and put down the camera and phone. Experience a day “unplugged” and view your host country through your own eyes, rather than a lens. Look at the world around you as a way of life rather than something to be photographed or posted on social media.
- Utilize resources
- If you find yourself having trouble understanding your host country, use the resources available to you in your program or at your host university. Often times, study abroad programs are set up with support on the ground. Visit your on-campus study abroad office to talk about what you are experiencing.
- Make a list
- Make a list of goals or things you would like to accomplish while abroad. This will help keep you on track and articulate what you want to get out of your time abroad.