Preparing to travel abroad? Don’t forget to watch these videos.

This evening, Richard Byrnes from Free Technology for Teachers posted an entry about a series of videos explaining cultural norms that anyone traveling abroad should keep in mind (e.g. how not to embarrass yourself, or insult your hosts). Each video contains practical “dos” and “don’ts,” along with brief explanations as to WHY each of these is the case. For example, here’s a video about gift etiquette in which we discover that Chinese citizens might be Southerners in disguise (or perhaps it’s the other way around):

And here’s one about riding public transportation in Korea, where seated people are not actually trying to steal your belongings:

Sadly there are no videos for visitors to Latin America, Africa, or the US and Canada (personally, I would be really interested to see what the rest of the world thinks is important information for visitors to the US to know) but this site could be a really valuable resource for students or professionals traveling to Europe or Asia. I also appreciate that Richard points out the value of this information even for those who are not going abroad; these videos can provide a great introduction to customs, practices, and cultures outside the US, and perhaps spark interest for students to seek out more information on their own.

These videos, by 43Films, are available on Vimeo, in the iPhone App Store, or via the Fasten Seat Belts website.

Ryan has been proudly maintaining and contributing to Language Lab Unleashed since 2005, and is the current President of SWALLT. Since the summer of 2013 he's been causing trouble with his all-star colleagues in the UMW DTLT; when not wrangling websites Ryan can be found doing strange things with heavy objects.

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