When studying abroad, you will meet people from different cultures with varying beliefs. Some will share your beliefs about race, ethnicity, and nationality, whilst others may have different beliefs and attitudes. When preparing to study abroad, it is important to think about this, particularly:
- Cultural Attitudes: Different countries have different attitudes towards race and ethnicity. It is essential to familiarize yourself with these attitudes and how they may affect your interactions with others. Some cultures may be more accepting of diversity, while others may not be so welcoming. Understanding these cultural attitudes can help you communicate effectively and avoid misunderstandings and potential conflicts.
- Cultural Differences: Different ethnic groups may have their own unique cultural practices, beliefs, and customs. These can include religious practices, dietary restrictions, and ways of dressing. It is important to be respectful of these differences and be open to learning about them.
- Language Barriers: Nationality can impact cultural identity, language, and access to resources. If you are traveling to a country where the primary language is different from your own, it is important to familiarize yourself with the local language and customs. One word could have a positive connotation in one region and a negative one in another. Understanding this will help you communicate effectively and avoid misunderstandings.
It is also important to do your homework! Before studying abroad, we recommend that you research the below:
- Cultural Norms: Ask about and research the cultural norms and practices of the country you will be visiting. This includes customs, traditions, and etiquette. Understanding these cultural norms will help you navigate new social situations.
- Celebrations and Events: Ask about any cultural celebrations or events that are important to locals. This is a great opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture and learn about its history and traditions.
- Customs and Traditions: Ask about the local customs and traditions, and how to acknowledge them. This may include gestures, such as bowing or removing your shoes, or ways of addressing elders.
- Language: Ask about any language barriers and how to communicate effectively with people from different backgrounds. This could involve learning key phrases of the local language.
Studying abroad is an exciting opportunity to learn about new cultures and ways of life. By understanding and respecting the differences in race, ethnicity, and nationality, you can ensure a positive and enriching experience. Approach these conversations with an open mind, a willingness to learn, and a respect for others’ cultures and backgrounds, and you will find that the world is a much more diverse and fascinating place.
For more information on any of these topics feel free to reach out to us via phone (480) 874-0100, on our contact us page, or follow us on Instagram @ibsabroad and send us a direct message! We would be more than happy to chat with you!