Tips to make your intern abroad experience more authentic
1) Eat at little hole in the wall restaurants
Food is a central part of any culture. A great way to get to know what dishes bring locals together is to go to smaller, popular restaurants with perhaps a more humble appearance. You might even ask a local what their favorite restaurant is for authentic local plates. These restaurants may be less welcoming to tourists, but that’s because they aren’t for tourists. The food will be more authentic, less expensive and likely more delicious.
2) Buy produce at the local farmers’ market instead of the grocery store
Getting to know your city’s local farmers’ market will give you the chance to see which produce actually grows locally and then buy it. You’ll also have the opportunity to interact with local producers instead of supermarket employees who have less of a connection with the society’s food culture.
3) Play a local sport
Whether through pick-up games or organized athletics, playing a local sport is a great way to meet and interact with locals. Sports can join together many people with different backgrounds for a common goal. You could even convince your intern friends to take some sort of dance or exercise class with you at a local studio or gym.
4) Learn the language
Speaking the local language is the best way to connect to the people in a foreign country. Depending on English will put limitations on the type of person you can meet in a foreign country. A good way to practice language skills is asking your intern friends to speak only in the local language when you guys go out.
5) Take a cooking class
Considering food’s importance to culture, a cooking class is an excellent way to connect to your abroad country. Plus once you learn how to cook a local dish, you’ll be able to recreate it for your friends and family back home. The abroad experience will live on through your cooking!
6) Go to screenings of local films
Local universities and museums often have free screenings of local films at their institutions. Bring some of your intern abroad friends to a screening and try to strike up a conversation when the movie is over with some other audience members. Not only will the movie lend some insight into the local culture, but so will the conversations you have with the screening attendees.
7) Join a local organization or club
If you have a certain hobby or passion, why not take it with you abroad? You’ll be able to share your interests with locals and learn a little about how clubs and organizations work in a different country.
If you have time while doing your internship abroad, a great way to meet locals and contribute to local society is to volunteer. You’ll be helping others while also learning about social issues in the country. Volunteering is also an excellent way to meet charitable people from a variety of backgrounds.