4. Mess up

We are human beings. Expect to make huge blunders – cultural and otherwise. The country you emigrate to will undoubtedly have different societal norms than the place you are coming from. Even if you do not experience culture shock, be prepared to run into various barriers.

Should the country use a different language than ones you are fluent in, be prepared to mess up when speaking to the locals. Better yet, mess up on purpose. I am not talking about becoming an ostentatious eejit. I am talking about learning from your mistakes. Observe how the locals react when you hover a finger over a button labeled ‘cultural no-no’ then keep it in the back of your mind.

Other mistakes worth making include getting lost when trying to find your way around, because you never know what treasures you can find in the back alleys; ordering the wrong food item from a menu you did not understand, because nothing says immersion like eating mysterious; dialing the wrong number, because you will learn politeness; and calling someone or something by the wrong name, because you will learn how to deal with awkwardness.

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