Culture Shock Experiences And How To Deal With Them

This article is devoted to the study of the concept of culture shock and methods of overcoming it. The paper also discusses the causes and effects of this feeling.

Let us imagine the minute when you lend in a new country to study. You are busy exploring new places and everything around you. You are smiling at the pedestrians, cyclists, and children. Definitely, you are fascinated and inspired by the surrounding people and their sudden openness. Perhaps, for all that, you are noticing discreet segregation of people, or astonished by why the host, who you rent your house from, shies away from your questions.

Suddenly you realize, that you study overseas, this is called culture shock, student! Obviously, everyone who is planning to study, live or just visit any foreign country should understand that he would not avoid the culture shock. Today it is an actual topic that requires a more detailed study.

What is Culture Shock?

Culture shock is the sensation of disorientation experienced by people, especially by students, when they are suddenly transplanted into a foreign setting.

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This is an explainable reaction to a new environment where you are no longer in control as you have been at home. Naturally, someone is affected by it more severely and someone almost does not notice it. Nevertheless, always there is a culture shock. Definitely, as you know, culture shock is a kind of anxiety, that affects losing our habitual places, people, and life. This strangeness can lead to symptoms such as homesickness, loneliness, and some discomfort.

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You may experience a wide range of emotions and try different things while adapting to a foreign culture. It can be an atypical local style of speaking, extremely remarkable pronunciation; extraordinary style of clothes, abnormal food that totally differs from your habitual meal and sometimes may seem disgusting. Actually, even people from your new residence may scare you at the very beginning of your adaptation. Finally, in addition to all this, you will be impregnated by unusual habits, different political and religious beliefs. Therefore, it is okay that most people feel negative emotions due to unexpected cultural differences, most often such as agitation, desperation, fear, and unrest. Naturally, there are slight changes in the environment and there are significant changes, namely culture shock. This is a real shock. People from neighboring countries experience slight changes due to the similarity of countries. They do not experience big changes, just new places, people, and surroundings. Students who have come a long way to study in another country, continent, just in new conditions, definitely, endure changes hard, and sometimes painfully. Their world will considerably change. The majority of students from our country, studying in the EU and around the world. Each of them has a great experience of overcoming cultural shock.

Furthermore, the vast majority of students clash against language shock. Language difference is one of the crucial reasons leading to culture shock. Language shock is a psychological nuisance experienced by a variety of people who hit the foreign language environment. However, there are some advantages of it. For instance, to quickly and effectively learn a foreign language, you need to practice your speech with native speakers. In the conditions where this language is native, it will be much easier to achieve a result. A person who gets into an unfamiliar environment experiences a cultural shock. This fact promotes you to memorize new vocabulary very quickly. Perhaps, culture shock is a desperate way to learn a foreign language but also it is the fastest and the most productive one. After learning the language, we accept the culture of this nation and integrate it into their environment. Abroad we can hear the different pronunciations of the same expression. We learn to recognize the same word spoken by people of different nationalities and feel how the English language differs from what we have learned at home or the university and school.

How light overcome culture and language shock? Firstly, understand the situation. You don’t have to like everything or get excited about everything but just being open to the experience and acknowledging that people live, think and behave differently in different countries will help heaps. Secondly, try to be easygoing and talk with people. Communication is a vital aspect of cultural adaptation It is necessary to overcome all challenges of a new culture. Thirdly, be in contact with Home. This process will help to back home momently. However, remember, it does not mean that you should do it constantly – it just keeps feeding homesickness even more. Finally, be positive. Make sure to focus on all the positive things instead of having a negative mind. Spend time with positive-minded people, have fun and feel the good vibes! Eventually, everybody gets used to the new environ and adaptation comes. This is the most enjoyable stage of culture shock. Maybe, you have not soaked in completely, but you have accepted the habits and customs of your new home! An example of Asia Exchange former student Jasmin: “It was chaos at the beginning and I almost bought a flight back to Finland. But then step by step my life settled and the dark glasses that I was wearing came clearer. I started to see some positive changes in myself. I gave Bali a chance. Bali taught me to appreciate my life.”

Stay positive, enjoy the sunshine, write out your feels, make new friends and as soon as you return home, there will be just vivid and remarkable memoirs in your mind. Remember, you should realize that culture shock is normal! We cannot escape it! However, in what sharp will we overcome it – negligible or painful - depends on us. In addition, it strictly depends on our subconscious, willpower, and good preparation for new heights. Explore the country you are planning to visit. Just think, maybe this is a new challenge for you. Maybe, this is a new portal to an absorbing and bright future. Do not take the culture shock as something really scary or irresistible. Nothing lasts forever and one day you will remember the days spent abroad with a smile on your face.

Updated: Feb 23, 2024
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Culture Shock Experiences And How To Deal With Them. (2024, Feb 23). Retrieved from

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