What is culture shock when studying abroad?

Culture shock has different stages, but it usually results in an understanding of the norms and traditions of the new host country. When international students arrive in a new country, they will be exposed to a culture very different from their own and may experience culture shock. Culture shock refers to feeling confused, disoriented, and homesick as you face new things and adapt to them. It can also cause physical symptoms, such as headaches and nausea, and psychological symptoms, such as sadness and frustration.

Since studying abroad is a major life changer and is quite daunting, it's not uncommon for international students to face culture shock. There can be a significant difference in how people from their home country dress, act, interact, and even teach. Therefore, culture shock when studying abroad is a normal experience. Adjusting to your new life will take time.

What is culture shock really about and how to deal with it? International education provides a great opportunity to experience cultural diversity and improve intercultural understanding, but everything comes at a price. In addition to the actual financial expense, study abroad programs go hand in hand with an often unexpected or underestimated cost. In Canada, you may experience a new degree of cold during winters. Similarly, in the UK, it will rain more than you expected, while in Australia you'll experience winters and summers at different times of the year than you're used to.

These factors can also be stressful, as any change in weather can affect your health when you least expect it. However, you'd be surprised if life in these countries never stops due to weather conditions, and neither should you. Some students find it very natural to integrate into the new culture, but others try to adjust their personality to the forms of their new society. This can cause visible changes in personality.

For example, changing the accent of the spoken language to sound more professional, a sudden change of clothing, inability to control expenses, etc. It's better to allow these changes to occur naturally than to force them to happen. Feeling alone in a new environment can be daunting, however, it's an opportunity to expose yourself and meet new people by joining societies and activities. Meeting new people abroad is another of my favorite things about traveling.

Talking to people with common interests can help you cope with culture shock and, if they're from the area, it can help you familiarize yourself with your new environment. Get as involved as possible. Following the university's social media platforms and the student union might be the best place to keep up to date with the events that are happening if you're heading overseas to study. Culture shock can come in many ways when studying abroad.

It is characterized as the feeling of disorientation experienced by someone who is suddenly subjected to an unknown culture, way of life, or set of attitudes. To the extent possible, try to suspend the trial until you understand how the parts of a culture fit into a coherent whole. Daily interaction in their home country is based on generally understood and accepted cultural cues. It's also useful for overcoming culture shock, as you'll be prepared to deal with the differences between the two cultures.

Either something new and extraordinary happens in the host culture, or a crucial cultural element is missing from your home culture. Every student has their own way of coping with culture shock and so do you, there's nothing wrong with taking a little more time to adapt to the new environment. Adapting to a new culture and getting used to a new way of doing things is part of studying abroad. Remember that this is a cultural roller coaster ride and, if you paid for the trip, you have to work hard to cope with the falls and climbs as well.

Culture shock is the name given to the feeling and experience of entering an environment different from one's own. You changed your point of view, and instead of comparing everything to your own culture, you started to evaluate the host culture in its own context. In addition to the obvious things that immediately impact you when you arrive, such as sights, sounds, smells, and flavors, all cultures have unspoken rules that affect how people treat each other. If you want to feel at home in your home country, you must consciously prepare for a reverse culture shock.

Let's take a look at the four stages of culture shock you're likely to experience throughout your study abroad program. The term “culture shock” basically refers to the feeling of confusion or disorientation when you find yourself in a culture or environment with which you are not familiar. All of these feelings are completely normal when you immerse yourself in a new, unfamiliar environment, and there's no real way to stop culture shock completely, but there are ways you can help yourself and others cope. .

Simon Gooch
Simon Gooch

"Simon Gooch is a seasoned professional with a passion for transforming the landscape of international education. With over two decades of experience in the education industry, he has excelled in roles that encompass student recruitment, market development, and educational consulting. Currently serving as the Global Sales Director for ELS Educational Services, Inc., Simon's commitment to expanding educational access is evident in his work overseeing agent sales worldwide, with a particular focus on ELS centers across the USA. His career journey also includes founding Seed Educational Consulting Ltd, a B2B and B2C agency dedicated to helping students from Africa pursue higher education opportunities in various countries. Simon's strong leadership, exceptional agent relationship management, and proficiency in opening new and emerging markets have played pivotal roles in his successful career.Simon's academic background further strengthens his expertise, holding a First-Class degree in French and Modern European Studies from the University of East Anglia. His specialties lie in customer relationship management with a clear focus on agents, parents/students, and university partners. Simon's remarkable track record in developing emerging markets, particularly in Russia, the Middle East, and Africa, showcases his ability to drive consistent and long-term growth in these regions. With a deep commitment to educational access and international collaboration, Simon Gooch continues to make a significant impact in the field of international education."

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