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Do you research

Know before you go

Understanding a little about the culture you’ll be visiting before you arrive can help you avoid some pitfalls. Learning about some of the history of the country, local customs, greetings and common phrases is a way of showing the locals respect for their culture, history and traditions. Basing your expectations on what you’ve seen in movies, television or heard through music often leads to stereotypes that misrepresent the culture. For example, we received a blond haired blue-eyed student once in Seville, Spain who thought that everyone had dark skin and dark eyes. She didn’t want to stand out from the crowd, so she dyed her hair brown only to realize when she arrived that several locals have naturally blond hair and blue eyes.

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