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Top 8 Tips for Getting to Work the First Time

By: Charlotte Mann, Greenheart Exchange Work and Travel Program Assistant

Trying not to get lost can be an everyday challenge. Not to mention when you are in a brand new country and still learning how to speak the language! Luckily, many people have been in this situation before and are happy to help. I lived in Denmark for four months and I still remember my first time getting on the bus. You feel the panic of not knowing how to read or communicate in a foreign language, and having no idea what your destination looks like. Luckily, it only takes one time on a route to feel a little calmer and just a few more to have it memorized! By the end of the summer, you will be able to get to work with no problem.

  1. Plan! Plan! Plan! -Before you go look up your route, make sure (if you’re using a smartphone) to take screenshots in case you lose service! It also helps to have a map or list of the stops available too.
  1. Direction -Make sure you take note of what direction you will be traveling, so you get on the bus or train going the right way.
  1. Relax -The first time you go somewhere you will understandably be very nervous; however, it is completely normal! Try to pay attention as much as possible. Relax, so on your way home or the next day you are more prepared and know what is to come.
  1. Practice -Sometimes you don’t have time for this, but if you do, then don’t be afraid to practice getting somewhere before you have to actually be there. If you can, go the day before you start work, and see how long the commute takes!
  1. Leave early! – Americans appreciate people who are on time. Make sure you leave a little early so you have plenty of time to get where you are going.
  1. Observe – If you are not sure how to act or what to do, you can always watch what everyone else is doing. It took me a few days of riding the bus in Denmark to notice that when the driver made an announcement, he was usually asking people to move all the way to the back of the bus. You can usually figure out what’s going on around you, even if you don’t quite understand the language yet!
  1. It’s okay to get lost – It happens to the best of us. We all get a little lost sometimes! It will be okay. You can always ask someone for help. Do not panic, and move on.
  1. Tickets – Before you take public transportation, look up how to buy tickets and make sure you have cash if you need it. Sometimes you can even buy your ticket on an app with your phone!

Good luck getting around your new community! Stay calm, practice the route, and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Enjoy your summer and stay safe!

Do you want to adventure around a new community? Check out the Summer Work Travel program with Greenheart Exchange and see how you can immerse yourself in a new place!