This Is How to Deal With Cultural Shock When Studying Abroad
When studying abroad, changing your whole environment can be quite shocking and take some getting accustomed to. A cultural shock is very likely when you’re traveling abroad, but most specifically when you uproot your whole life and move to a foreign country.
Educatly knows that it can be difficult to deal with, but there are some things you can do to make the transition easier, and we'll tell you exactly how to deal with cultural shock.
What Is Cultural Shock?
Cultural shock is an experience that can happen to anyone when they are exposed to a new culture. When you are in an unfamiliar place or situation, cultural shock is getting this feeling of confusion where you aren’t sure how to deal with people or even read the room. However, it’s very normal, and you can absolutely manage it!
But first, it’s important to know the state of the cultural shock. There are some shared stages that everyone who experiences cultural shock goes through. When you first arrive in a new country, everything is exciting and new. You're full of energy and eager to explore. Then, another stage begins where everything is still new, and you're adjusting to your new surroundings. After a while, reality starts to set in, and you start to feel homesick. You might also start to feel like you're not fitting in or that you don't belong.
This is when things start getting serious. You might start to feel angry, frustrated, or even depressed. It's important to remember that these feelings are normal, and there are ways to cope.
This Is How to Deal With Cultural Shock
One way to cope that can go a long way is to do your research before you go. Learn about the country and culture you'll be living in. This will help you prepare for what to expect and understand some of the customs and norms.
Another way to deal with cultural shock is to connect with other people who are going through the same thing. There are often support groups or forums for students studying abroad. Connecting with others can help you feel less alone and allow you to share your experiences. You can also immerse yourself in the local culture. This can be done by taking classes, volunteering, or simply spending time exploring your new surroundings. A little bit of open-mindedness, flexibility, and willingness to try new things can help you a ton.
It’s absolutely important to stay in touch with home. Stay connected with family and friends back home through social media, Skype, or other means of communication. This can help you feel more connected and less isolated in a new place.
Embracing the challenge of learning about a new culture can help you grow as a person and appreciate the world in a whole new way. With a little preparation and an open mind, you can turn cultural shock into one of the best parts of your study abroad experience. Just be patient with yourself. It takes time to adjust to a new culture so give yourself time to settle in, and don't be too hard on yourself.
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