Many people dream of travelling to different countries and experiencing different cultures before a certain age. It is indeed, one of the greatest privileges we can experience as human beings.  We should count ourselves as lucky because we are able to cross different borders to experience different cultures without spending too much money.  Travelling is also essential for people who want t develop a sense of the world and an open mind.

Archaeological Site of Carthage (Tunisia)

Whether you are planning to visit a foreign land or participate in school and work exchange in a different part of the world, you are definitely going to experience some cultural differences.  You never know what it could be. You could notice a sudden change in the daily routine or bigger things like hoe people are treated in different parts of the world.  It is very critical you except and adapt to different cultures even before you interact with the people so that you do not have to experience major culture shock once you visit the area.

One of the best ways to embrace cultural differences is to study the destination’s culture beforehand. Doing a little research will not harm you in any way. It is a great way to prepare you before and as you travel.  Thanks to the internet, you can find very useful tips. You can learn plenty, from simple things like greetings to more complex things like the food in different cultures and the etiquette in the homes.  You will be surprised how many cultures around the world are not completely the same. Using the different tips you learn will help you operate more smoothly.

Talking to someone who has been to the specific country before will help you understand and embrace the culture much easier. Direct conversation will give you an authentic feel of the culture. If you do not know anyone personally, you can browse through some travel blogs on Instagram and YouTube. Just make sure you are checking out an authentic browser who is not filled with bias and hate. Read books and have a conversation with the people who have spend some time in your destination. If it is for work exchange, make sure you get the information from a legal expert. Also, you can speak to someone who lives there to get an idea of their perspective.

I cannot stress this enough; respect the local culture.  Once you have the knowledge of local traditions and customs, you should take it upon yourself to abide by them.  Do not view your culture as superior to theirs.  Avoid being egocentric and appreciate the differences between your culture and theirs. Just observe, respect and emulate when you are allowed to. Think of yourself as a visitor while you are travelling.

Maintaining good communication with the locals is very important. Do not be hesitant to open up and learn about their cultural heritage. This shows that you are trustworthy and have a positive attitude towards the people.  Even if you are ready to experience different cultures, things can go wrong but you should never express any anger or act irrationally.

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