Essential etiquettes to follow when studying & living abroad
Respecting and observing socio-cultural etiquettes goes a long way in making lasting relationships when studying abroad. It not only helps build rapport with the locals, but also keeps you at arm’s length from unpleasant situations.
Here is a list of important tips to keep handy when studying in some of the top international study abroad countries:
Do’s & Don’ts while studying in Canada
- Small talk with a smile often triggers a deeper conversation with Canadians. Initiating a chat about weather could lead to a hearty discussion.
- Keeping an eye contact shows that you are genuinely interested in talking. While this is a universal aspect, it hits home even more so with the Canadians.
- Waving is a cool way to greet a Canadian.
- If you have to choose a gift, select something from your own culture. Canadians appreciate the thoughtfulness and a personal touch.
- Be careful while choosing and gifting flowers – white lilies can be associated with funerals and red roses could be seen as a romantic gesture.
- Canadians, in general, do not appreciate the comparison between Canada & U.S., and vice versa. Avoid it at all costs.
- Similarly, do not indulge in conversation about conflicts between French and English Canada.
- It would be rude to talk in your native language amongst local Canadians who do not understand the language.
- Shouting and talking loudly is also a big no.
Do’s & Don’ts while studying in the U.S.
- Be open, frank and forthcoming about yourself when you can. Americans appreciate people who can hold their own and speak their mind.
- Avoid speaking about divisive issues – unless you know the ins and outs – with new acquaintances. Americans are quite passionate and vocal about issues like abortion, gun control, civil rights, etc.
- Do not be openly critical about either America or your own country. Patriotism is a big thing in America.
- Engage in meaningful debates, and offer a clear perspective about the You’ll besurprised the respect and reception you’ll receive afterwards.
- Likewise, classroom discussion and participation are highly encouraged and may contribute to overall grade – this may depend from one university to the other.
- When invited for lunch or dinner, expect a particular dish to be passed around the. If you do not want something, instead of saying no, just pass it to the next person.
- Avoid making eye contact with strangers in public transport.
Do’s & Don’ts while studying in Germany
- Germans are quite adherent and strict about their rules, be it in education or in day-to- day life. Not obeying them could attract trouble. Violating traffic rules, jaywalking, making noise on Sundays, poking your tongue out in the public, etc. are some of the things you may not want to do.
- Want to be in good books of the Germans? Just be punctual, it is a biiiig thing in Germany.
- Contrary to popular perception, Germans are quite They may take time to get to know you, but over time you will see that they are open, frank and honest. Germans believe in ‘once a friend, always a friend’.
- Wohngemeinschaft or WG apartment / accommodation sharing is one of the most popular choices of international students. Equally popular are WG parties – participate in them. It is a great way to make new friends, learn from them and even get help in your studies.
- Under no circumstances, show a Nazi salute, or display any Nazi symbols. It is offensive and illegal.
- Exceeding your permitted part-time working hours will surely get you banned in Germany.
- Like you’d do in India, remove your footwear before entering a German home.
- Bought a bottle of water? Don’t bin Instead, return it and claim the extra 25 cents that you are required to pay while purchasing. Germans are pro-recycling.
Do’s & Don’ts while studying in France
- Learn some basic French phrases and greetings. It will get you through smoothly with the locals.
- Are you a breakfast person? Then you better learn some recipes before immigrating to France. The French aren’t too gung-ho about first meal of the day. You would only find pastries, croissants, brioche and the like – which is too sweet for the Indian breakfast palate.
- Over speaking and speaking loudly over others is considered rude. Avoid it when mingling with locals.
- Apply for CAF application as soon as you can. Its government allocated fund for student accommodation. It will really help you manage your living expenses.
- Students get discount for visit to museums, public places and Your college / university would provide you a student card, and it would be a mistake to not make good use of it.
- You will have to pay a nominal charge for using washrooms in public places. Carry change.
- Do not touch any item or produce at an outdoor market. You can point at what you want and enquire about it.
Do’s & Don’ts while studying in Ireland
- Be prepared for a barrage of slangs while speaking to an Irish. While they speak in English, most Irish have an accent and use many slangs in their speech. Learning about the most common ones can get the conversation easy and fun.
- Weather can be unpredictable in Ireland. Carrying an umbrella can be quite handy. Also, wearing comfy shoes while exploring outdoors is yet another tip you’ll want to remember.
- Want to understand more about Irish people? Visiting a local pub or restaurant is perhaps one of the better ways to do it.
- Remember to press the red button when your stop is arriving when traveling in a public transport bus. Assuming that it’ll stop at the upcoming bus stop would be a mistake.
- Do not ask about fairies and leprechauns. While the history of Ireland is filled with magical creatures, the Irish do not particularly like talking about their folklore with strangers.
Do’s & Don’ts while studying in the U.K.
- The British like their personal They may not like someone, especially strangers, standing closer than an arm’s length.
- Staring is considered rude, and may turn into a verbal spat. Avoid at all cost.
- Handshake is a sign of affirmation and acknowledgement. Shake hands with everyone you may come across in a social setting, even children. But ensure that the handshake is light and not firm.
- When socializing in a restaurant, summon the waiter by raising your hand. Making sounds, yelling, waving is considered improper.
- When you are invited for a lunch / dinner, wait for your host to begin.
- Brits live by their mannerism. Jumping the queue will inevitably be frowned upon and could also land you in trouble.
Do’s & Don’ts while studying in Australia
- Australians are mostly informal and jovial people. Do not get offended by their jokes. In fact, jokes on self could be a quick way to get familiar with them, as they see it as a sign of self-confidence.
- Chipping-in, in situations that allow for it, is highly appreciated. Share the cost of fuel, for example, when you are on a long drive with your Australian mates.
- Be respectful of Australian wildlife, landscape and natural environment. Conservation of their nation’s ecology is a matter of pride for Australians.
- Do not pass the buck – passing a task given to you / meant for you to others is frowned upon.
- Being argumentative and combative may not help you in the long run in Australia.
- Avoid talking about sensitive topics such as refugees, indigenous affairs, etc.
- Be relaxed and enjoy yourself in a casual setting. Australians easily bond with an easy- going person.
Do’s & Don’ts while studying in New Zealand
- Do not try to bribe or get your way by offering money. The Kiwis totally disapprove such behaviour and it can also land you in legal trouble.
- Buying a local product / item could earn you appreciation by the locals. They prefer to support their own economy and are conscious about large amounts of imported goods that they have to depend upon.
- Not sure of something? Ask a New Zealander – he / she may even go out of the way to help you.
- The Kiwis are much like the Australians when it comes to being boisterous. Do not get offended by their casual jokes.
- Excessive flattery or compliments could prove to be counter-productive with the Kiwis.
- Do not be boastful, even if you have the practical right to be. It will neither win you friends nor any ears.
These are some of the most common and general etiquettes that you’d be expected to follow in respective countries. Make sure that you thoroughly understand the country, its people and culture you have chosen for higher education.
Good luck fellas.