Interactions and Conversations
As you begin to prepare for your time abroad, it’s important to consider how you normally interact with people at home versus how you'll interact with people abroad. Something as simple as a thumbs up gesture or eye contact could be misinterpreted in your host country. We encourage you to research where you will be and what some typical interactions include.
As an American, you may also be welcomed differently. You may be asked questions about American foreign policy and politics and your opinion may be challenged. Think ahead of time about how you’re going to respond. If you choose to deflect the question, consider talking about your studies and your time abroad. Dressing and interacting like a local may help you avoid some of these sticky situations.
During your time abroad, you will likely run into other Americans. Although you share a host country, it's important to remember that Americans go abroad for different reasons. Don't take it personally if other Americans don't want to hang out or connect with you, they may be trying to fully immerse themselves in their cultural experience. On the other hand, you may also run into Americans who are excited to see you. This is a wonderful opportunity to network and compare experiences abroad.