Globalization has made the whole world a global village. As different cultures, values, arts, and backgrounds are enmeshing, it can time and again be hard to see what should be said and how to behave without upsetting or offending when you are living or studying in a foreign nation, especially for the international students.
Living and studying in a new country with new cultural beliefs can be overwhelming at times, and a lot of students handle it by either acting insufferably or continuing in absolute solitude. Don’t be indifferent to your host culture and also remember that your behavior would reflect on your home country. Ultimately, you would be representing your nation in a foreign country.
Here are a few tips to make international students more respectful towards foreign countries’ cultures:
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Try to discover as much as you can about the foreign country
Today, the internet is the main source of everything you want to know about a country. Besides, you can also use guide books, news sources, novels, and more to learn about a foreign nation you are studying at.
You can also talk to people who have been to that country and or are still living there. Try to find whatever you can about that country’s values, beliefs, and culture. Learn what kind of behavior is considered as polite and what is considered rude.
Avoid taking insulting pictures
Keeping a record of almost everything you do in a foreign country is nothing new for international students. They collect pictures and other things to remember their days in a foreign country and show them to their friends and family back home. Students should capture a lot of pictures of the wonderful places they visit.
However, they need to make sure that the pictures are not offensive and have been taken under appropriate circumstances. Every time you click a picture, be attentive to your surroundings and see what they signify for other local people. Also, always follow the rules when you are taking pictures in a public place or historical site.
Pick up basic cultural behaviors and good manners
Every nation in this world has different ways of expressing their feelings. They have different rules and cultures for manners and actions, and you can learn them without difficulty. But it would be impractical to think you can learn all of them.
Nevertheless, you can read around a bit, or search on the internet about the mannerisms, and cultural behaviors in the host country and what kind of actions and mannerisms are considered as rude over there.
Show respect for a foreign country’s religious and cultural beliefs
You need to be respectful of the cultural and religious beliefs of the people living in a foreign country where you would be studying. Even if you don’t believe in certain religions or cultural events, show respect for the ways of life of your host country.
Make local friends
Many times it happens that when a student from a nation goes abroad for studies, he or she is always hesitant to make the acquaintance of local students. They usually either hang out with the students from their own country or spend their free time alone. With that, you might not become involved with the local cultures.
You will get to learn even more by making local friends. They would be connoisseurs of their own culture and they will be more prone to answer your questions about their country and its customs.
The world is full of knowledge and things to learn. Thus, it is impossible to know all about a foreign country’s cultures and etiquette. There would hardly be any person who hasn’t offended someone in a foreign country.
These situations are unavoidable. Instead, what you can do is apologize to people for insulting them (we are hoping it would be unintentional). You can tell people that you are new in the country and still trying to learn things.