Working cross-culturally opens up amazing opportunities to expand your worldview, meet new people and to have your faith challenged and stretched. However, as we enter new cultures we soon realise we have a whole lot of learning to do, from how to greet people, to table manners, attitudes to time keeping, what to wear, and a myriad of other dos and don’ts. Few can escape the odd embarrassing moment, where eyebrows are raised and awkward glances exchanged – all whilst you hastily try and work out what you’ve done wrong.
Whilst such moments are inevitable and can usually be laughed about later, plenty can be done to prepare yourself for the culture you’ll be engaging with. Such preparation not only helps lesson culture shock, but also makes it easier to build friendships, and to share the gospel in a sensitive and effective way.