No matter where you want to work, study or travel, first you must know the basics and know how to deal with the local people in that country and its environment to enjoy your experience. Being a tourist, you are expected to be “stupid”. You do not know how to talk to people, how to get anywhere, where to eat or how to eat. But if you are in a country on a holiday trying to get the best of it, wouldn’t it be better if you were not stared at for having done something out of that country’s norm? For example, in France it is considered bad manners to not greet the store owner when you enter, a simple “Bonjour” will show that you are a civilized person.
It is important to have a basic understanding of the culture and customs of the country. Chances are you might experience culture shock if you do not, as what is accepted in your country might be outrageous in other countries and vice versa.
This will also show respect to those who live there and you might find yourself making friends. You can get to know the mindset of the people there and the customs and culture with a little research before crossing the border. For example, in the UK, they drive – walk – stand on the left, so you need to as well; in Singapore, you should not spit on the ground as Singapore is one of the cleanest cities in the world; in India, wearing tight and revealing clothes is considered as taboo as they prefer more conservative and traditional way of dressing; and so much more.
Moreover, the food might be totally different from what you are used to, it can be great or terrifying. It goes from delicious ice-cream sandwiches in America, to intestines in Korea. So if you find that your stomach is not strong enough for intestines, you shall be prepared to only enjoy the scenery, with your jar of peanut butter. One should also know the basic languages of the country they are visiting. It will make things easier , for example to ask your way around the town, and will boos…