A few things I've learned over the years from meeting people from many different countries. Try these tips out the next time you meet someone from elsewhere!
  1. Try to know a little bit about every country
    This might be hard if you're not particularly interested in geography like myself but it's good to know about where every country is on the world map at least. It really goes a long way, especially if they are from a not well known place.
  2. The more you know the better
    I like to go pretty far with it and know as much as possible about as many countries as I can. The more you know the more impressed people will be. It really does go a long way, trust me!
  3. Know which countries speak English
    You will sound very ignorant if you compliment someone from Kenya on how good their English is. Just because they have a foreign accent does not mean English is not their first language.
  4. Related: try and know what the English language situation is like in each country
    For example, people from Scandinavia tend to have very good English because it is taught well in schools. As opposed to other countries such as China and Japan. This can help you gauge at what pace and vocabulary level you should be speaking so that they can keep up.
  5. Be aware of diversity
    Pretty obvious in this day in age but remember that just because someone looks like they are from one place doesn't mean they are. Unless you really know them I would also avoid asking them how they feel about being a minority in their country (a bit personal if you've just met).
  6. Ask questions about their country or region where they are from specifically
    Don't assume that just because someone is from Peru that they can answer your questions about Brazil. Try to avoid generalizing where people are from.
  7. Don't compare a smaller country to it's larger country counterpart
    Don't compare New Zealand to Australia, Canada to the US, Portugal to Spain. If they bring it up it's fine but some people can get pretty heated if you think the two are similar. It's best in general to not compare countries.
  8. Avoid controversial topics about their country
    Unless they bring it up or it's established that you both are interested in discussing it. If they do talk about it, listen with an open mind and be aware that your education on the subject is from a different perspective. Avoid arguing with them, you won't have the same kinds of complex emotions about a political situation in a country you have never lived in.
  9. Don't ask them about stereotypes
    They have probably gotten these questions a million times and are tired of answering them! Don't come across as ignorant, ask them something more educated.
  10. Don't turn them into a stereotype
    Just cause you might have heard that Germans are blunt, doesn't mean you should assume every German person ever is blunt. Think of your own country, do you fit its stereotype? Maybe a little but you wouldn't want to be treated as such.
  11. Don't limit your conversation to questions about culture
    Talking to people from other cultures is a great learning opportunity but it's also an opportunity to make a new friend! Be sure to ask them about themselves also, most of the times you can find as many similarities as differences.
  12. Hope you learned something! 🌏🌎🌍