At one point in our lives we get to meet people from all walks of life and getting to know individuals from other countries, whether as colleagues or personal acquaintances, it is also very important to be aware of common or general demeanour when dealing with International folks.

Communication is one of the common problems people need to get to grips with, especially when a international visitor is not well versed in the English language and sometimes it could be very frustrating when trying to engage them in conversation.

If you have the chance to know from which country your international visitors are coming from, try to do some research about their culture and basic customs, you might be surprised that some of your common actions could be offensive of inappropriate for them.

Always take the first step in opening a conversation, remember that they are in a different land and most cultures find it disrespectful if they initiate any activity or conversation.

If it’s their first time to visit, make them feel welcome and engage them in small talk. This prevents them from thinking too much about interacting with you, especially with their limited English vocabulary.

First off, ask how they wish to be addressed. Many international cultures prefer people using a title like mister or miss, sir or ma’am. If they prefer to be called by their first names, they would immediately tell you that it’s fine.

Always dress appropriately when meeting up with them, there is no explicit dress code requirements when dealing with international visitors however it is always prudent to be dressed appropriately for any occasion.

Avoid talking about topics related to religion or politics, matters like these could make them feel uneasy.

Be careful with hand or body gestures when talking, some cultures find it imposing when they are talking with someone and gets startled with a sudden gesture.


EDIT: All ‘foreign’ has being replaced with ‘International’ thanks to Minder Kaur Athwal and Olivia Johnstone for pointing this out!

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