Perhaps the most natural way of learning about the culture around you is to to actively participate in it, to become involved in the life of your community and its people. Much of this involvement happens automatically as you go about living and working in your village or city, but you can also make a conscious effort to become involved in community activities outside your work and meet people you ordinarily would not. The easiest way to become involved is through a friend or host family member who is already engaged in an activity that might interest you. Below are some suggestions:
- Donate your time and services as a volunteer to any organization, public service, or institution that accepts volunteers, such as any of these:
- a hospital or clinic;
- nursing home;
- a local charity.
Offer to teach English in any venue where it seems appropriate.
Offer to teach any other skill you have that people might be interested in learning.
Become a member of the congregation of a local church.
Join a church group in that church.
Join or start a choir or some other singing group that meets regularly.
Join or start a group that plays music.
Offer to tutor students at the local school, or start a tutoring program.
Join an existing women or men's club, or start one
Join a local sports team.
Join any interest group that meets regularly--a sewing class, pottery class, poetry group, self-defense class, bird-watching club, video club--or help to start one.
Help to organize a special event such as these:
- a fund raiser;
- a craft fair;
- a beautification project;
- a painting project;
- a construction project;
- a local library cleanup;
- an environmental cleanup.
Offer to help out with a local boys or girls club.
Join an organization affiliated with your workplace.
Help to organize field trips for school children, people in a nursing home, or a boys or girls club.
If you're at a loss about getting started, ask other people how they did it.