Traveling abroad is one of the most exciting and life-enriching things you can do as a young adult. However, it is normal to feel a little nervous about being in a new country, without your friends and family. It is natural to be confused by some of the local customs, food, and traditions you will experience.
One piece of advice for traveling anywhere in the world is to be respectful of everyone you meet by being polite and keeping an open mind. Remember that when you visit another country, you are an “Ambassador” of your country and want to make a good impression.
NAPCA welcomes students from all states, countries, races, religions, beliefs, and cultures. Part of your learning experience will be to learn about people and cultures that might be very different from your own.
Here are some tips to understanding American culture and values:
- While America is known as the “land of freedom”, we actually must follow many rules which help keep people safe. Therefore, rules regarding the drinking of alcohol, smoking, driving, littering, recycling, fire safety, shoplifting, noise, and dress codes are important to follow by everyone; by locals and visitors like you. Please respect our rules for everyone’s safety.
- Americans value “time” and are punctual when it comes to getting to work on time, to business meetings, to classes, doctor appointments, and even to social events like dates and dinner appointments. PLEASE be on time to class, to meet your RC group, to meet the buses for excursions/field trips/tours, and for nightly sign-ins at your residence hall. If you are late, you will hold up everyone in the group, which is considered disrespectful in American culture.
- It’s always a good idea to smile and make eye contact when you talk to people. Always say “please” and “thank you” to anyone who has helped you.