How do you really experience a country
This is how you complete the internship abroad!
Your internship abroad is the opportunity to get to know a new country better. That means: Really in that Immerse yourself in culture and don't just scratch the surface.
The point is not just to do sightseeing, but to build a deeper relationship with the country and create one Insight into people's everyday lives to get - that is, to arrive properly abroad.
A longer stay in the host country gives you the chance to spend more time in one place and Not from one sight to another to rush just to take a picture that you seldom look at later.
Instead, you can really get to know your host country and the people there and gain experience that will enrich you for a lifetime.
Arriving correctly is the basis for making your internship abroad an unforgettable experience.
But what is the best way to do that? Every beginning is difficult, but don't worry: We have put together 7 tips for you to help you gain a foothold in the host country.
7 tips to really arrive abroad
1. Put your cell phone away!
Of course, a lot of things are unfamiliar at the beginning, you don't understand the language, don't know anyone, you can't find your way around the new city yet. People tend to pick up the cell phone and call family or friends in Germany. And there is nothing against it.
But: How many times do you have the chanceto spend a long time in your host country?
After your internship abroad, you will probably not come back anytime soon. So put your cell phone aside and enjoy your time! Plus, you can get in touch with locals much better and yours linguistic proficiency by asking them for directions instead of relying on the map on their phone.
Be in the here and now - this way you will get used to your host country much faster.
2. Learn the language!
Being able to speak to the locals will make things a lot easier for you. Perhaps you have already learned the national language - now is the perfect opportunity to brush up on your school knowledge.
Your university may also offer language courses that you can use for preparationon your internship abroad. And if not, there are apps like Babbel or Duolingo that you can use to at least learn the basics.
It also helps yourself Films in the local language to watch (with or without subtitles, depending on how advanced you are) or to listen to music from the host country.
And even if you can only say "Hello", "Thank you" and "Please" in the local language - you are showing yours Willingness to communicate and your interest in the language and culture of the country.
That makes the difference!
3. Be open!
Not everything can be planned in advance. That is why it is important that you stay open during your internship abroad and get involved in new experiences.
Don't make judgments until you've tried something - be it the food, a trip, the culture, or the way people live. Learn to recognize cultural differences without constantly comparing.
Nothing is better or worse per se - many things are simply different.
Your internship abroad is the perfect opportunity not only to gain practical experience, but also to broaden your cultural horizons.
So, be curious and get involved - one often has the best memories of unforeseen events!
4. When in Rome ...
Do you know the saying: “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”? That means: get to know the lifestyle of the local people, adapt and try to to live like the locals!
They know their country best and know you lots of tips whether for local specialties, sights, excursions or cultural events.
Take advantage of the relationships you make during your internship abroad and do something with your host family or AIESECers on site - they will surely be happy to take you with them!
So you get to know everyday life in your host country at the same time: How do people structure their day? When do you get up, when do you work, when do you eat?
It can also help if you get a Everyday routine builds up: Do sports or a language course, find a favorite restaurant, do something with friends or have a drink with colleagues or other volunteers after the internship.
5. Get to know pop culture!
You haven't really arrived in the country until you can sing along to the charts.
So talk to the locals: What music are they listening to? How do you dance? Which exhibitions and which films do you watch? How do you spend your free time? What's on TV? What's hot right now, what are people doing?
Pop culture is a great topic of conversation, to establish contact with the locals and gradually understand their way of thinking and their lives.
The people you meet and the conversations you have with them will make your internship abroad one unique experience do!
6. Give it a try!
Food is an important part of culture almost everywhere in the world - just think of grandma's dumplings or the delicious apple pie.
So try local specialties, dare to try unfamiliar dishes and don't just stick to what you already know.
Your host family, friends or acquaintances from the country are sure to have some recommendations for you or even cook with you. You will be surprised how different eating habits are in different countries!
In restaurants you can also ask for recommendations or ask how certain dishes are prepared - the chef is sure to be happy about your interest and you can later cook your favorite dishes for your friends and family.
It's also great fun to get through the to try regional drinks - no matter whether coffee, tea, beer, wine or schnapps.
7. Find out more!
Surely you have already opened one or the other travel guide while preparing for your trip.
But news about your host country, travel reports or the website of the Federal Foreign Office can also be valuable sources of information.
The better you find out about history, politics and culture beforehand, the easier it will be for you to be well prepared to start your host country and your internship abroad with the locals to get into conversation and to better understand their way of life.
It also helps you avoid cultural faux pas.
But remember - perceptions differ.
Not everything you read about your host country beforehand is necessarily true. Talk to the locals about it. In this way you can find out which information is stereotyped and what actually belongs to the reality of the locals' lives.
Bonus tip: do something!
Go out, mingle with the people and explore the area! To arrive in the country properly, this is the easiest way.
But don't just do something with international people you met in the hostel or during an internship abroad - find yourself local friendsso that you really experience everything in the country.
If you live with a host family, this is already the first step - now do something with your family and let them introduce you to the culture and life of the country.
Interesting to know: AIESEC's social projects and internships abroad by students from the respective country & the respective city on site organized. Often, therefore, they hold different meetings so that you can meet get to know each other there is no better way to meet the locals!
Register now without obligation and make contact with the local students before you leave.
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