Friday, May 11, 2012

Cultural Immersion

Traveling abroad can be wonderful and enriching. Want to make it even better? Immerse yourself in the culture, get out of the house, see the sights, meet the locals, and make memories! Here's 5 easy ways to do just that:

1. Learn the language
You don’t need to be fluent and if you’re only planning on staying for a year you probably won’t be. If one your goals is to experience the culture, knowing the basics will give you the confidence to get out there and explore. You have lots of options for learning, 1 – 3 week intensive courses are a great way to get the basics fast, a good school might cost you some money but you will come out of it with enough knowledge to continue learning on your own. Many private teachers are available and if you get 2 or 3 friends together you can split the cost. Some schools will provide free lessons and of course you can always use on-line language software.
2. Eat the food
Going by alone will probably involve some trial and error but that’s part of the fun. Better yet, go to lunch with the locals from your school, they’ll tell you all the best stuff to order. On top of this being of being a great way to really immerse yourself in the culture, it will probably save you a lot of money versus eating a western restaurants. This leads me to the next topic…
3. Save some money
This isn’t possible everywhere or with every job, but once you’ve figured out what your cost of living is, create a budget and stick to it. I found it easier to stick to a budget overseas than it was at home. Less temptations I suppose. Even if it’s only $200/month over a year, that’s $2,400 that you will have to travel or get set up back home. It will feel really good to have some extra coin in your pocket when you need it. Not to mention it’s a great habit for the rest of your life.
4. Travel
Got to get out of that comfort zone, once you’ve settle in to your job and neighborhood you may start to forget about all the exciting adventures that are waiting for you just hours away. Depending on your work schedule you may need to figure out how to make the most of your 2 and 3 day weekends, and trust me you can do a lot. A lot of you probably have your days off during the week which is all the better, you can go almost anywhere without having to fight the crowds. If you followed step 1, using your local language skills will save you a lot of money in transportation.
5. Spend time with the locals
Naturally we all want to buddy up with people that we can relate to, and this is a good thing. But don’t forget to spend time with the people that can teach you the most about what life is like in their country. Ask a lot of questions, most people love to talk about themselves so give them a chance. Find out what is important to them and why things are the way they are.

1 comment:

  1. It is very effective data provide me about the complete traveling guide especially in Asia as well as and new experience learn from it. I often go to china with my friends and family for vacations thanks for giving the useful data,
    china vacation package