Great perspective, typhoonpilot. As always, your contributions here and other places is fantastic!!
I will talk a little about the private sector vs. the airline sector. I am extremely new here, and still learning the ropes. When I came over, my main goal was to learn as much about the culture, language, and flying as I possibly could. I did not want to be the typical American, saying this is how we do everything in the States, and the States are better than you, so speak English, etc., etc. You know, the typical American stereotype. I came in with an open mind, and still have one.
I can honestly say I've eaten things I never, ever would have considered before, as they are local traditions. Some, I would not really consider eating any place but here (Salo..if you don't know what it is, look it up. It actually tastes okay spread on bread), and others that I will miss (Borsch soup).
As far as the flying, where I am at, they need people used to the airplane. We fly VIP's around for the company. They want experience, and they want a smooth ride. Period. They pay us well and make sure we are happy while we are here to keep us around. They know we are very far away, and are taking excellent care of us.
As far as what to study, there really is no way to study for proper radio terminology. Do you ever use slang; well, stop it then. Do you not know how you are supposed to say something on the radio? Well, look it up and always use proper phraseology. Don't be Mr. Cool on the radio. There are way too many accents and languages involved in flying over here to throw in some American phrases, or the Joe Cool "radio voice". It doesn't work.
So, basically, be yourself, unless you're a jerk. If you're a jerk, act like you aren't a jerk, and adapt to the culture, whether it is Dubai, the Ukraine, Russia, or a nice little apartment on the Med. in Palma de Mallorca.
If only I didn't have to go to Recurrent back in April...