The best way to adjust to language barrier? Honey, let me tell you, learn the dang language. One of the biggest culture lessons I’ve learned throughout my travels has been this: people appreciate when you try to adjust to their culture.

I hear all the time in America people complaining about immigrants or tourists not speaking English. It’s funny, because when the same people leave our country and visit those immigrants and tourists, I still hear the exact same complaints.

Effort goes a long way with people and persistence will give you success. The only thing holding you back is your pride. How awkward I felt trying to speak a language completely foreign to me. I was always tripping over my tongue. I would blank on the word I wanted to use and people even would make fun of me sometimes. But the reward from persistence is far greater than any of the temporary shame.

Before I left for Spain, at my orientation, this was the biggest piece of advice previous study abroad students kept giving, “don’t be afraid to try, the faster you get over it, the faster you’ll learn the language.” I will forever validate that statement. Looking back, I wish I got over myself and my pride much faster. I would have had a better experience if I did.

Oh well, you can’t change the past right! I’ve learned from it and it’s one of the mistakes I will not make again as I’m preparing to move to Serbia.

Serbian will be my third language learned and third country I’ve lived in, all at the ripe age of 21-years-old. I’m so curious where life will lead me… what will be my fourth?