The aim of this European Leonardo Da Vinci project is to improve
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1.5 Preparation for living in a foreign country

Organizing your daily life in different countries

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Before you leave your country, your parents and your friends at home, you should try to get some information about the place you want to go.
It might be important for you to find out something about the following topics:

  • Traffic information
  • Opening hours of shops
  • Where to learn about local events
  • ...
On this webpage there are some details about the daily life in Austria, Belgium, Catalonia, Germany and Sweden. They should be useful for you, even if you go to another European country.

Adapting to a new culture

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If you listen to other people who have done their internship abroad, they often say they had a good time. They might not want to mention the days where they found everything dull and grey and wanted to go back home.
You must be prepared that living in a new country is not only ďGREAT!Ē. It takes time to understand a new culture and it is sometimes frustrating not to be able to express yourself in your own language.
Here you can read more about how to cope with this ďnewĒ situation.

Doís and doníts in a country

Although we are all citizens of the European Union we still all have a different cultural and social background. What is quite a normal behaviour in one country could be offensive for somebody in other parts of our continent. There are also big differences in how you greet and address people.

But in the tools section there are documents about the doís and dontís in Austria, Belgium, Catalonia, Italy, Germany, Netherlands and Sweden. You will not only find things you should avoid but also some useful hints that make your life easier.

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For more information you can go to the following websites.

Intercultural websites

The Centre for Intercultural Learning prepares Canadians for assignments abroad. On this site you find important facts and figures and cultural information about all countries worldwide. You can also learn more about cultural misunderstandings.

At Executive planet you find business culture guides for many countries in the world. Here you can also read guidelines for business etiquette.

The British website, Kwintessential provides cross cultural solutions. Check out the tools of country profiles, and cross cultural quizzes.

The World Wide classroom gives you tips of how you successfully adapt to a new culture. A travel planner with many good pieces of advice is provided.

What is culture shock? At this web site it is explained in an easy way.

Language preparation

It is most likely that you have to use English during your internship. But it also makes sense to learn some basic vocabulary of the language spoken in the country. People there will appreciate the effort you take in learning their language.
There are many web pages offering online-language courses. Here are some examples for improving your English and learning a new foreign language:

Pages for learning English