Studying abroad allows you to learn, grow, and discover who you are. Having an interesting experience can help you do so! Here’s what you can do in order to get engaged in the community and learn more about the local culture.
Every country has its unique traditions and rituals. Some cultures are quite sensitive about their traditions, and some locals may react negatively if a tourist ignores or even belittles their culture. The more you understand how people act in a certain place, the more likely you are to blend in with the locals and so enjoy a more real sense of the nation’s natural rhythm and culture. Locals will be grateful for your efforts and will respect you much more for your willingness to immerse yourself in their culture. One of the best things is to make friends from the city. This will help you to know the popular places where people hang out (famous restaurants, diners, cafes… etc.)
Discovering a local culture requires an understanding of art in all of its forms. People communicate a lot of emotion about the human experience via art, so you may get a good sense of an area by looking at their art. Look around you for artwork, such as paintings and sculptures in museums or architecture and posters in the street. Listen to live music while dancing at a nearby club, attend concerts and operas. Read literature about the country you’re in and see movies about it. Adding to that is the role of food in a culture which cannot be overstated! You are proactively engaging yourself in that culture via your sensations and taste buds! This form of cultural immersion will teach you a lot about a country’s history and contemporary culture.
Join the locals on trains, metros and buses instead of taking a simple cab. This attitude will not only save you money, but it also enables you to immerse yourself in a country’s daily life. As people-watching is ideal on public transportation. On a local bus, you’ll witness people of various ages going about their business and seeing how they interact may provide valuable information into the cultural environment and mindset. You could even fit in with the community and feel more like a local, which is far more satisfying than being transported in an expensive cab or uber!
By doing so, you’ll find yourself one of them in no time!