Preparing for Cultural Differences


Teaching abroad is a great way to learn about another culture and make a difference in the lives of others. It can also be an excellent way to boost your resume, gain valuable experience, and have fun!

There are many benefits of teaching abroad:

  • You will learn about other cultures. You’ll be exposed to new ways of thinking, speaking, dressing and living that will help you grow as a person.
  • You will meet new people from around the world who may share similar interests with you. They will teach you something new about yourself through their experiences (or vice versa).
  • You will make an impact on someone else’s life by sharing knowledge with them.

Cultural Differences to Consider

When teaching abroad, it’s important to consider cultural differences. There are many aspects of your students’ culture that may be different from yours, including:

  • Language–the way people speak and write in their native language
  • Customs–the ways they interact with each other and the world around them
  • Values–what they believe is important or worth doing in life
  • Beliefs–what they think about things such as religion and politics

Preparing for Cultural Differences

To prepare for cultural differences, you should research the culture of your host country. Make sure to research the customs, etiquette and cuisine. While not necessary, it’s recommended to learn a few basic phrases in your host country’s language! 

The Benefits of Overcoming Cultural Differences

You may be wondering, “What’s the point?” Why should I try to overcome cultural differences when I can just ignore them and focus on what’s important: teaching?

The answer is simple: because it’s more rewarding. When you take the time to understand and appreciate other cultures, your students will feel more comfortable opening up in class. You’ll also be better equipped for dealing with any challenges that arise from cultural differences (like miscommunication or misunderstanding). And finally, overcoming these barriers helps build strong relationships between yourself and your students.

Tips for Navigating and Overcoming Cultural Differences

  • Understand there are many different communication styles.
  • Show respect for the local culture by learning about it, participating in it and respecting its traditions.
  • Remain open-minded.
  • Be patient.
  • Adapt to the culture.
  • Develop relationships with your students and colleagues.
  • Remember to have fun! 

How to Avoid Cultural Insensitivity

Cultural sensitivity is important, and it’s something that you can learn. Here are some tips for avoiding cultural insensitivity:

  • Educate yourself about the culture you’re teaching in. This means more than just reading about it online or watching movies about it – you need to actually talk to people who live there! They’ll be able to give you insight into their daily lives that books can’t provide.
  • Be aware of your own cultural biases versus. If someone says something offensive or insensitive, try not to take it personally – it may be a communication barrier or a non-offensive phrase in their culture.
  • Be mindful of cultural norms when interacting with others in your host country – don’t assume that what you experience in your country is what may happen in your new country. Make sure to study up on cultural norms to ensure there are minimal surprises!


As you can see, it’s important to understand the cultural differences of your students and how they affect the way they learn. It’s also important to keep in mind that there are many rewards of teaching abroad, including:

  • Meeting new people and making friends from around the world.
  • Learning about other cultures and customs.
  • Being able to travel around as part of your job.
  • Growing both personally and professionally.