Things that foreigners should avoid

As foreigners living in another country almost everything around us is different. The food, the cultural habits, the ways to communicate with people, the colloquial words particular to each country, the music and even what people consider funny.

When some people move from their country of origin or the one they had lived in for most of their lives, to a new country, they start complaining about the things that do not fulfill their requirements. The issue here, is that those requirements are based on their own country’s rules.

For those who live in a different country and  for their friends also, here is a list of the things that are to be avoided if your desire is to adapt to the new country you are living in.

1. Don’t compare the food
The food is going to be different. If you are expecting to eat the same food that you ate in your country, you’ll be disappointed. Even if the restaurant’s name is the name of your country it is very likely that the products they use are different from the ones back home. You’ll get used to the new flavors before you even notice, and when you actually eat something from your country you’ll enjoy it 10 times more!

2. Learn the language
Even if you learned the language before your arrival, when you first get there you will need some time to adjust and learn the new lingo. Every country has specific words that you will have to learn in order to be able to fully participate in the conversations. Challenge yourself and always be prepared to learn something new. People know your first language is not the same one that they speak and they will understand if you make mistakes. Don’t be afraid to speak, practice is what you need to become an expert!

3. Avoid speaking your language in front of natives
It is rude and people don’t like it when you speak in your own language and they can’t understand you. I know that whenever you find someone who speaks the same language that you do, you want to stay in your comfort zone. This really annoys the people who don’t speak the same language that you do.

4. Your customs are different from the ones here
In your country there are many little habits that you do and probably don’t even notice. When you move to another country you start to realize that you do things differently. When you are living in a system with different rules you have to follow them. Being different is nice and every now and then is cool to show how you do it in your country, but not always. Show your friends that you care about their way of doing things and that you respect their culture.

5. Complaining is not nice
This is the most important thing to avoid as a foreigner. Don’t complain! People that complain about the new country are annoying. There is a reason why you moved. If you miss your country, that’s perfectly understandable and we all go through the same. Complaining and comparing your country with the one you are living now and stating all the facts why your country is better is not the way to go when you are trying to fit  into this new environment. Talk about the good things from your culture and share about your country while also emphasizing good things about your current country of residence.

Explore, enjoy, have fun! You have the opportunity that few have, which is to live in another country and get to know another culture by experiencing it. Being a foreigner can be really fun. How it turns out to be is up to you!

I know there are many more points to avoid when someone is living in another country. What do you think I’m missing? Do you have friends that are foreigners and do some of these things?

3 thoughts on “Things that foreigners should avoid

  1. A friend of mine came to America from Germany and she adapted really well. There were certain “slang words” and lingo she didn’t understand because she had been taught English in school, so we had to help her on some of that. Other than that she did great in America!

  2. I have never been a foreigner in another country, but I can imagine that the experience is unlike anything else. It is interesting to read your list and see which small things really can make a big difference when being in a new country.

  3. Pingback: You are almost there | Acculturating

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