Here, I could tell you about my own experience. I have recently given classes, as a French teacher.
The classes took place in a restaurant owned by a French guy, in a very friendly atmosphere, and were followed by about 20 persons. One of the thing I have noticed during those classes is that the shyness was not the main reason preventing people (Americans) to talk in French.
Many people had facial expressions showing how few they were ease with speaking in front of people, but they did the effort.
Why? Because they knew that their French skills were better than others’ ones, therefore they had no problem to try to improve them, even with 20 people staring at them.
Oppositely, people with weak French skills were ashamed to try to speak, and to communicate in French, even if they were the ones who needed it the most.
You might be put in the same situation while having experiences abroad. Indeed, it is very hard to perfectly master a foreign language, only a very few people are able to do it, often after many and many years learning, reading and speaking it.
Not to try is the worst mistake you could possible make. It won’t change the status of the problem, it could even make the situation worst.
On the other hand, to dare to speak in a foreign language means to give you the opportunity to learn it through the most efficient way. In addition to the listening sills improvements, you will develop the ability to speak faster and to be more reactive.
To be able to fluently speak a foreign language means that you will give you the best opportunity to discover the local culture as well as possible.
Indeed, you won’t be ashamed to speak to a random person anymore, what implies that you won’t hesitate to ask any question you might have, and consequently, find the most appropriate answer to it, thanks to the most appropriate person to answer it.
As soon as you feel confident, what is in general traduced by the ability to be understood anytime, independently of what you’re saying, the foreign country in which you are doesn’t look like so… foreign anymore.
Because this is the final aim, to feel like at home, abroad.