I know that it’s common for missionary families to visit the US (or whatever country your parents come from) during the summer. However, if you are staying in the country where you live, summer is a great time to get to know the culture and people of your country better. Here are some simple ways to dive into your culture and make the most of your time in your country.
1. Language If you aren’t already fluent in your country’s language, learn some new words and phrases this summer and practice them. Even if you mess up, locals will see that you are trying. A lot of people love to practice their English, so do a swap: give and ask for lingual tips. Sometimes it’s scary to try out a new language, but, in the end, it’s worth it.
2. Activities/Sports One of the easiest ways to meet people and learn the language
is by complete immersion. I went to an Italian public school for two years and through that experience I gained several good friends and I became fluent in Italian. Going to a local school is a big decision, though. This summer, start small and try immersing yourself in an activity you enjoy. Go to a sports camp or find a club or summer classes. You’ll make friends, learn more about the culture, and learn the language better. Depending on where you live, a lot of people might speak English, or will be at least willing to try to help you out with the language.
3. Holidays Learn more about your country’s history and what holidays they celebrate. Are there any summer festivals or special events? Go with your family to experience the culture. Ask locals to explain more about their special events and traditions. Also, be bold and look for girls who look your age. It never hurts to try to make friends. They are probably just as interested about your culture and background as you are about them.
Take advantage of the time you have in your country now and get to know the culture better! For more about getting to know your culture, read Dancing in the Storm, an article posted on the blog back in the fall.