All Abroad

6 Tips To Embrace And Integrate Into A New Culture

By Renée Ardon-Coppinger

There’s no denying that it can be a massive challenge to fully wrap your mind around a new place at the best of times, let alone when you’re multiple time zones away from the home you’ve grown up in, but that’s what makes this crazy life of ours fun right. 

To help you get started, we’ve compiled some of the easiest ways to immerse yourself in a new culture that will promise you plenty of thrills along the way.

Respect The Customs And Traditions

It’s imperative that you spend time researching your new home town to learn all about the dos and don’ts of the country to avoid yourself getting into sticky situations or starting off your adventure on the wrong foot. In Singapore, for example, chewing gum can land you a hefty fine, while singing obscene lyrics in public can cost you three months jail time. You must also be respectful of the country’s religious traditions and ensure you follow these closely (i.e. appropriate covering of body parts in Middle Eastern countries) to make sure the locals in your proximity feel comfortable, too.

Wander Through The Markets

The local food and produce markets are one of the quickest and most delicious ways to learn more about a city, its cuisine and its people. Not only do you get to truly throw yourself into the local lifestyle and sample new tastes, but you also gain a richer understanding of the fresh produce and talented creators in your new ‘hood, perhaps even making a new friend or two along the way.

Learn Some Of The Language

It's unrealistic to expect your average traveller learn a whole new language prior to arriving in a different country, but brushing up on some common phrases will help you out in the long-run and make you look more respectful, too. Studies suggest that the human brain is very effective at absorbing lanaguage through immersion, so between your everyday interactions, a cheeky phrasebook or Duolingo classes for 15 minutes every morn, you’ll be able to feel like a true native-speaker in no time at all. Magnifico. 

Become A Tourist In Your Own New City

Whether it be New York, Marrakesh or Quebec, every city has its own collection of significant landmarks, gathering places and architecture, so what better way to bump up your steps by taking a stroll (or bike ride or scooter or segway) around these sites to really soak in the majesty that people from all over the world come to admire. Wherever possible, take a tour guide or buy the audio guides so that you’re able to learn the secret historical insights into these quintessential monuments to share with your family and friends when they come to visit, too.

Party With The Locals

Arguably one of the most fabulous parts of a new culture is being lucky enough to share in their various colourful celebrations, feasts and frivolities. Whether it’s Carnevale across Italy in the weeks before Easter with its vivacious floats and fancy dress ups, the famous annual Holi Festival throughout India in March or the world’s largest Fringe Festival around Central Edinburgh, these events bring out the absolute best of the city and give you a peek into the unique quirks and customs that make your new home so incredibly magical.

Always Say Yes To New Experiences And Invitations

Taking a risk and saying ‘yes’ to new adventures is what makes life whimsical, so make it your mission to always put yourself out there (whether that means introducing yourself to new people or accepting an offer that frightens you a little) and grab life by the metaphorical throat. You never know, perhaps accepting that invitation to your new neighbour’s house for dinner might open doors far beyond your wildest imagination or help you land yourself a new job opportunity. As the cliche goes, you’ll never know if you never go.

Image: Urban List

Get our top stories direct to your inbox.

Get our top stories direct to your inbox.