The 4 Stages of Culture Shock Living abroad can be an exhilarating by Participate Learning Global Perspectives Archive

As a result, navigation of surroundings gets easier, friends are made, and everything becomes more comfortable. Culture shock refers to feelings of uncertainty, confusion, or anxiety that people may experience when moving to a new country or experiencing a new culture or surroundings. This cultural adjustment is normal and is the result of being in an unfamiliar environment. Culture shock and being homesick is normal – all students experience a period of adjustment during the first weeks and months of school. Be patient with yourself and understand that it is a process. You will be excited and intrigued about cultural differences, but there will also be times where you are frustrated or confused.

So sorry to hear that you struggled with sever homesickness – mental health really can have an affect on your physical state as you found with food. These are fantastic tips and strategies for dealing with it, and I’m so glad to hear that your took a turn for the better. I think having a support network and people to lean on is one of the biggest things, as new friends allow you to feel comfortable in your new home. Perhaps you have recently travelled to a foreign country, started college, served on a mission trip, or started a new job abroad.

  • Culture shock is simply the deepest trough of the “U-curve” and rarely lasts more than a few weeks.
  • As a result, students can withdraw from social activities and experience minor health problems such as trouble sleeping.
  • Handle it with patience and without losing sight of why you were close to the person in the first place.
  • Speaking to other international students about how you are feeling might be useful to help you cope, but try to avoid being too negative about your situation, as that could be more detrimental.
  • In the case of students studying abroad, some develop additional symptoms of loneliness that ultimately affect their lifestyles as a whole.
  • Follow these tips to avoid being your own worst enemy and slowing down your adjustment dwelling on negative feelings.

There will be lots of people who want to help you, and universities are very much used to helping people who are feeling homesick or sad. Your university might be able to offer to buddy you up with someone, or have a free counselling service you can take advantage of. The offerings of societies and activities at universities are wide and varied. You might choose to join a sports team, a faith based society, or a hobby society. Your university might even have a society specifically for international students, who will all have experienced understanding british men some level of culture shock. Establishing a routine can really help you to cope with your feelings of culture shock.

Talk to others about how you’re feeling

That means juice, by the way, you think they would at least understand what they mean? And they act like, I have no idea what you’re saying. And then they would like to translate it into Sumo for you and like, make you feel like less than, and it’s so ridiculous.

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So I was like, I need to be somewhere familiar to process the rest of this. And I scraped up all of my coins literally and booked a ticket home at the very last minute so you can imagine how much money I paid. And what are the things that my therapist reminded me of was that you know, sometimes relationships fizzle out. You know, as I’m in my first year, I did not know what those were.

Knowledge-based strategies for managing culture shock

Any added feelings of panic or fear related to the international war against terrorism can directly affect how well a student deals with culture shock. If you feel worldwide concerns are adding to your culture shock, seek out family, friends, or program staff/counselors with whom you feel comfortable discussing your concerns. Culture shock can occur when people move to another city or country, such as when retiring abroad. Culture shock can also occur when people go on vacation, travel in retirement or for business, or study abroad for school. In this section, you will learn what culture shock means and how you can overcome its effects. Experiencing new cultures, and obtaining a better understanding of your own culture, can result in some of the most positive, life–altering experiences students have while studying abroad.

These kind of frustrations are likely to solve themselves as you become more knowledgeable and competent in the new culture. It can occur soon after arrival or within a few weeks. Not every student feels the same way, however. Jasminemarie Mack, a Howard University junior psychology major and painting minor from Denver, Colorado, has never felt homesick on campus and was incredibly excited to move out.

Whoever it is, find at least one person to help you unwind. Even the most introverted people benefit from human interaction to avoid feeling a sense of loneliness while abroad. In the beginning, I thought that I would just need time to adjust, but I quickly found that, the more time passed, the worse I felt. Due to anxiety and homesickness, I developed a strong aversion to food. Just the thought of food repulsed me, and I struggled to eat even a handful or so of chips for every meal. I began to really worry that this was going to be my life for the next four months.

For many students, arriving in a new place can be both exciting and anxiety-producing. This may be a common reaction for any student moving to a new community.

Over time, students become more familiar with their new surroundings as they make new friends and learn social cues. The result can lead to growth and a new appreciation of the culture for the study abroad student as well as the friends from the host country as both learn about each other’s culture. Nice article about something that is not often talked about on travel blogs.

Exploring new hobbies or joining a student club on campus, especially those that encourage socializing and meeting new people, can help you overcome culture shock. Try not to compare yourself to others when learning how to deal with culture shock, especially if they are American or have spent a significant time in the U.S. already.

After that experience, I was definitely in no mood to try to go out and experience my new home. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 21,351 times. The content of this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, examination, diagnosis, or treatment.

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