Finding the answers to these questions before you cross cultures can be tricky, but it is possible. Books and articles will often give you some insight into these nuances, but one of the best ways to anticipate what you’ll encounter is by talking with expats: people similar to you who have studied, lived, or worked in the country in question. These individuals have a nuanced perspective on the challenges you’ll be facing and what you’ll experience in the specific situations you find yourself in, along with insight into the people you’ll be working with.
As a woman, in the United States, I do not cover my head. However, I have visited places where it is very offensive to have my head uncovered. In that case, bringing a simple scarf, or accepting one that is provided to me, is a way that I can respect the culture that I am visiting. That is not a time for you to decide to choose to “stand your ground.” Instead, look at what value has more impact. In this circumstance, covering my head does not create an offense in my culture, but not covering my head does create an offense in the other culture. So, this decision, in showing respect, is an easy decision when weighed with logic.