The Grace to be a Good Idiot

If you’re going to live in another country, it’s guaranteed that you are going to feel like an idiot at some point. We have all been there. (Some of us are there so often that we have annual passes.) Often, it’s what we say that makes us sound like idiots. We tell the clerk at … Read more…

Tip #9: When in doubt, pronounce the English word with the local accent.

I don’t always know the word I need to use in my second language. Most of the time, I take the long, roundabout way to describe the one single world I’m looking for and then hope the local will help me out and inform me of the easier way to say it. I’ll use my … Read more…

Tip #7: Be careful how you address the grandmas.

It was several days into a literacy workshop, and I was deep in discussions with my team. We were working on some literacy materials for a minority group. My team was made up of expats and locals, which meant our communication was in the national language. “We need to consider the grannies,” one teammate said, … Read more…

Tip #1: Always inform employees when you’re stealing their band aids.

Click to read all 31 Tips for Surviving (Not Crying) in New County. I was still fresh into my lessons at language school. I always had to take a deep breath before approaching someone to ask for help or start a small conversation. With each step I took towards a person, and with each moment … Read more…