Lots of things to think about and do to get ready!!!
What Do You Know About Your Host Country?
There is only so much information that can be covered in an orientation program, so here is a list of questions to help you prepare on your own. The more you know about the culture in which you will be immersed, the better your experience abroad will be.
- Who are the prominent people in your host country (in politics, religion, the arts, etc.)?
- What is the traditional folk culture (dance, music, etc.)?
- What is the political structure of the country? How long has the structure been in place?
- What is the history of the relationship between this country and the U.S.?
- What is the predominant religion of the country? Is it a state religion? Are their any minority religions?
- What are the most important religious observances and ceremonies?
- What is the attitude in this country towards alcohol?
- What actions and beliefs are considered taboo (or frowned upon)?
- Are there other languages spoken besides the dominant language?
- What are some common greetings and phrases?
- What is the attitude toward divorce? Extra-marital relations? Pre-marital relations?
- Is it common for women to work outside the home?
- Do university students usually live at home?
- What is the usual dress for women? For men?
- What is appropriate dress for you, as a foreigner?
- If you are invited to dinner, should you arrive early? On time? Late? How late?
- On what occasions would you present (or accept) gifts? What kinds of gifts are appropriate?
- How do people greet one another? Take leave of one another?
- What are the social norms surrounding dating? Mixed gender friendships?
- Is the price for merchandise fixed? If not, how is bargaining conducted?
- What is the normal daily schedule for a student? A family? Meal schedule?
- Is there a daytime rest period?
- What is the customary time for visiting friends? Are such visits scheduled?
(Adapted from NAFSA'S Handbook for Study Abroad 101 Organizers)
The internet guide
Virtual World Tourist
NAFSA: Association of
World Time Zones
Dulles International Airport
Department Travel Warnings
U.S. State Department Tips for Students travelling abroad
The CDC Travel
World Health Organization
Web Cams Worldwide