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Culture Shock

Culture Shocks is somewhat unsurprising, you are bound to experience this sooner or later when you entering a new community. Every culture in each country has distinct characteristics that make it different from every other culture. Some students might experience this in an early stage of their study period some later on. Some evidence are quite clear but other can be subtle there for students may vaguely aware of them thus making adjustments is a complex process and one may remain uncomfortable and off balance for quite some time. The experience also differs for each person, there is almost no exact same experience between students when encountering with the culture shocks. When you just arrived, you might feel excited, overwhelmed with the excitement of being abroad, far from your parents with the new and unusual environment. However, when the excitement has ware off it might be slowly registered into your mind that the old habits and routine ways of doing things back home is not applied abroad and you are loosing all the familiar signs and symbols of social intercourse then you might start to feel uneasy or uncomfortable as you gradually realise that you are an outsider. This may result in a depression.

unfortunately there is no direct solution to culture shocks. Since each country has different social customs there is no generalisation on how to overcome the psychological disorientation feeling. All you can do is be aware of all the signs, and know in advance that you will encounter the culture shocks so that you can prepare yourself thus you might be able to even learn from it. You might develop a sensitivity to and appreciation for the people and customs of a totally different culture and way of life.

Be yourself
this is probably the best thing to do as long as you stay friendly, polite, flexible, receptive and dignified. Register into your mind that you are a visitor in someone’s country so that you based your behavior in the manner as you are visiting someone’s home.

Coping abroad

  • Maintain a contact notebook. Include the name, address and phone number, e-mail address, etc. of every interesting professional you meet.
  • Contact alumni.
  • If you stay in a home stay, talk offer with adults in the family about the local economy. Take every opportunity to meet the family’s friends and extended family to network.
  • Practice the local language, if English, learn the idioms, accent, vocabulary, etc. Speak with the natives in all walks of life, constantly. Reading the local and national papers, periodicals and watch the news on TV can help to improve your language ability and also help you to know the condition of the country that you are in.
  • Keeping healthy by eat healthy foods, exercise regularly and enough sleeping hours. You should take account the different climate and different foods that each country has.
  • Banking, when you have opened your bank account, you can ask the financial advisers to help you decide how to manage your money. They can help you to organize a budget account to pay regular bills or other things. If you received money from home on monthly basis, make sure you know exactly when the money will become available to you and how much there will be.