Countries

Try to learn the local language as much as you can. Locals really appreciate it. Enjoy your time and good luck!Sarah from NY, Semester Program
When offering an Egyptian something, they will automatically say no the first time, assuming that you will offer it again, when they can say yes. They consider it a sign of politeness.Nicholas from MI, Year Program
Get active in your school and community. Try to give a little back into the community while you're there, it's a great way to get out when you're bored.Samuel from MN, Year Program
Don't be afraid to get a little lost in your host town or city. The taxis in larger cities are very nice and are willing to work with you to get you to the bus stop. Just don't go alone. Always go with somebody who knows the area.Boone from MO, Year Program
Families in Brazil are very close so if there is tension with a host sibling or host parent try to control your anger. Handle things in mature way by having a family meeting and just say how you feel and consider the things your host family has to say to you.Rachel from CA, Year Program
It was difficult to adjust to the relaxed sense of time that Chileans have. Nothing ever seemed to get done on time, but it never seemed to matter, because whatever it was would get done.Khia from WA, Semester Program
Bring an umbrella, be prepared for cold showers, and live every day to the fullest. Carter from MA, Semester Program
Take dance classes and learn to dance from the beginning because it is very fun and popular in Ecuador. Sabine from OR, Year Program
The people are very friendly. They say "Hi" to you everywhere and people are happy that you're there.Yongyu from CA, Summer Community Service Program
Just enjoy it all. Paraguayans are some of the nicest people you'll ever meet. They're always willing to open up their doors and let you in, even if there's no room.Hannah from WI, Year Program
Try every kind of weird food at least once, it will impress your host family (and some of it is really good!). Lucy from MD, Year Program
Be involved in your school, it's the best way to make friends.Clara from OH, Year Program
Even if you are offered snacks and permitted to eat them before dinner, don't. Wait at least until after dinner before eating anything extra.Donovan from NM, Year Program
If you are going to New Zealand, be sure to know that it rains everyday at least for 5 minutes, and then it is sunny for the rest of the day!Sarah from NY, Semester Program
For teens in Thailand, socializing mostly takes place inside of school. Make friends right away with your class by sharing information about yourself and your home country. Lucero from CA, Year Program
In Austria they have a totally different way of doing things from the laundry to eating meals! Be open to everything that presents itself to you and remember…It’s not right or wrong, it’s just different!Hanna from WA, Year Program
Everyone in Belgium likes to speak English. You have to insist from the very first week or month that you want to speak Dutch and not English. It will be very hard, but it is incredibly important to do this. Learning the language is integral to becoming immersed in the culture and enjoying your year. Bryan from OH, Year Program
School is taken very seriously - no clubs or sports. Also, families are very, very close, which was difficult for me to adjust to. Anastasia from KS, Year Program
Ask right at the beginning what they expect from you. Cleaning and chores are a huge part of the student’s life in the Czech Republic. The sooner you get a hang of that, the sooner you will fit in with other students. Erika from WI, Year Program
Do not be afraid to get out of your comfort zone to talk to your classmates and other exchange students, and try attending whatever others invite you to, like parties or just hanging out.Allison from IL, Year Program
Finns feel uncomfortable if you bring up emotionally thick topics.Michelle from NM, Semester Program
In French culture, people give a kiss on each cheek to say hello and it took me a while to get used to that. Anna from OH, Semester Program
Even if you are tired, if you are invited to hang out or to some kind of activity, always, always say yes, at least in the first month or two. That sets you up for success. Marios from CT, Year Program
You have to have something on your feet at all times. Slippers must be worn, not just socks. Hungary is very traditional, the main meal is lunch and dinner is usually a sandwich. On the weekends, families will eat lunch together. Sally from NY, Year Program
Talk to people and try to be outgoing because Icelanders won't take the initiative to break the ice but if you do, they are cool people.Ernest from TX, Year Program
Make an effort to learn the language first. It will really make the difference in your first few months, and will boost your rate of learning immensely upon arrival in the countryDanielle from ME, Year Program
Always speak as much Dutch as you can, even if you know it’s wrong. Ask as many questions about the language as possible in order to pound those crazy grammar rules into your head. Anika from DC, Year Program
Bring long underwear and warm clothes you can wear under your normal clothes as well as over. Even if you´re from a cold climate, you´ll have to walk so much in Norway that you´ll be colder than you might expect. They don’t heat their houses or schools as well as we do, either. Acacia from AK, Year Program
In Portugal, family is very important and a lot of time is spent with all the extended members. Wilson from VA, Year Program
Russians are very personal people, and they don't meet Americans that often, so they will try to find out as much about you as possible in the limited time that you stay. Connor from NJ, Summer Program
In Spain people eat a lot more than in the United States, although they eat healthier! Sara from FL, Year Program
There is more freedom, especially for teenagers. Sarah from AZ, Year Program
Some say the Swiss are cold and at first this may seem true, but be warm to them and you’ll find them welcoming, friendly and curious about your culture. Ruth from MN, Year Program
Get in to a few TV shows, it will make bonds with your family AND improve your language skills. Caitilin from NC, Year Program