One of the things you’ll need to learn when coming to a new country is how to interrupt people courteously. While it probably doesn’t sound all that important, it’s actually one of the most useful things you can have in your communication arsenal when making your way around.
When you need to ask someone for directions, you will need to interrupt whatever they are doing to begin a conversation with them. When somebody is speaking too fast for you to understand, you will need to interrupt them to ask them to slow down. When people are ignoring you because they can’t understand what you’re saying, you’ll need to interrupt their state to get them to give you their attention.
See how important learning to interrupt people could be?
The trick to interrupting is to do it courteously. Before flying in, learn how people say the equivalent of “excuse me” in the language. Ask your language resource about conventions and body language when interrupting someone. Mine your books and language learning materials for tips on this end, too. One of my favorite references for this sort of thing are movies from the target country, because you can see how people insinuate themselves into conversations in most everyday settings.
Take notes and practice it in front of a mirror. Since it’s a new knowledge, you’ll need to “shadowbox” a few times to make it feel natural, even just to yourself. It will also help you remember to do them once you are cast into a situation that requires it.