Did you know that in Bulgaria, shaking your head means “yes” and nodding your head means “no”?
These cultural differences are ubiquitous around the world. As a responsible host, it is your job to know what they are to prevent possible misunderstandings. The steps are simple: Follow these for smooth sailing with your exchange student!
- Research, research, research. Not only is it important to have a general understanding of your student’s culture, but it will also prevent any awkward miscommunications in the future. We’ll send you a CultureGram before your student arrives to get you started!
- Keep an open mind. No country has the “right” or “wrong” way of doing things – just a different way.
- Laugh it off. You can’t remember everything, but if you are willing to own up to mistakes, your relationship with your student can only grow stronger.
Treat every experience as the foundation for building a mutual, cross-cultural respect, and your year with your student will be just as rich and fulfilling as theirs!