Stepping out of one’s comfort zone is not an easy step to take, not to mention stepping into a foreign land. Culture shock is one of the very common problems many face, especially when travelling abroad. For the purpose of this essay, the term “culture shock” refers to the unfamiliar feeling of a new atmosphere when in another country. It also refers to the ability to adapt experience and accept another country’s culture. The main reasons of culture shock are difference in values, loneliness, as well as daily life challenges.
To begin with, one of the main causes which contribute to the feeling of culture shock is due to the difference in values. Values may differ in terms of religion, laws, traditions, and customs. Many embarking on a journey to a foreign land have to accept and learn the foreign country’s values in order to be able to enjoy the richness of the local culture. However it may seem to be very difficult to accept the new values as it differs too much from another country’s culture, thus causing culture shock.
A good example would be that many international students might have difficulties adopting the new values which the foreign country adopts, and might feel homesick due to the culture shock. Therefore, the difference in values is one of the main causes of culture shock. In addition, another cause of culture shock is due to the feeling of loneliness. The feeling of loneliness can cause many adverse effects, causing depression and anxiety. Many suffer from culture shock due to loneliness because, like a child in school for the first time, there are no familiar faces to be seen anywhere.
It is a frightening experience as in a foreign land there might be a language barrier and a difference the lifestyle which may hinder the process of socialising and cause loneliness. A good example would be when international students live in home stays they might feel a sense of loneliness due to the fact that the environment in the home stay as well as the food served differs a lot from the student’s home back in their homeland. Therefore, loneliness is indeed another main cause of culture shock. The last and most important cause of culture shock is the daily life challenges.
Like a fish out of the water, it is a very new environment when in a foreign country. The weather, transport, language to speak in becomes a challenge, as each country has its own individuality. It can be a daily struggle for many to adapt to these major differences and would take awhile to get used to the new environment. A good example would be that many migrants would take at least a month to climatise to the new temperatures as unlike Saudi Arabia with extremely hot weathers, countries like New Zealand have very cold temperatures.
Thus, daily life challenges are the most important reason for culture shock as it is not easy to adapt to a new environment. To sum it up, culture shock is caused by the contrasts in beliefs and principles, it is also caused by the initial stages of feeling isolated from home and lastly it is also caused by the problems faced on a day to day basis. Perhaps the most important reason is the problems faced on a day to day basis. This is so as it would cause a significant amount of inconvenience and adapting to the individual for a period of time, thus undergoing a transition period to cope with culture shock.
Courtney from Study Moose
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