Too often in life we get set in one way of seeing things and we defend our perspective as being the right one. Study Abroad creates many opportunities to challenge the beliefs you hold about yourself and the world. Start to become aware of the assumptions and judgments you’re holding onto.
The best place to start is with your host culture. What beliefs do you have about your host culture? We’re plagued with stereotypes and generalizations in media our whole lives. It’s also common to read a lot of information before you study abroad about the people and place. Some of this is really useful and can help you in your journey. Other stuff, however, can put ideas in your mind and shape your perceptions and expectations of the culture even before you get off the plane.
Begin to get curious with those you encounter. Instead of thinking you have the answer as to why things are a certain way, open to the possibility that you don’t really know…and that’s okay! Ask questions and really listen for the answers. Curiosity helps pave the way for creating understanding and truly enriching your experience on Study Abroad.