How to deal with Culture Shock

According to our favorite but not officially-recognized-as-a-reliable-source Wikipedia, culture shock refers to “the anxiety and feelings (of surprise, disorientation, uncertainty, confusion, etc.) felt when people have to operate within a different and unknown culture such as one may encounter in a foreign country.”
Indeed, some people may feel… let’s say uncomfortable after having spent some time in a foreign country. This syndrome actually really depends on the person in its intensity. Some of the people I know don’t feel it at all (also my case), but for some, it is apparently a concrete problem.
The main symptom is a boredom felt about anything (people, habits, architecture…), coupled to a will to “go back home” (sweet home…).
The main advice I could give about this disease is not to isolate yourself. Stay close to people you know, and try to get to know new people. Don’t stay passive: admit the problem, and face it! If you have moved to a foreign country, you should have good reasons, keep those in mind.
Even if you’re looking for total immersion, don’t forget to keep in touch with people who stayed in your home country, new technologies help you to do that efficiently.
Several way exist, to help you deal with Culture Shock:

  • E-mails, which are the most used way of long-distance communication.

  • Facebook, used by most of young people, is a good way to stay aware of what’s happening in your friends’ countries.

  • Msn, or windows live messenger, is efficient to have real-time written conversations.

  • Phone, even if expensive for international calls, is important. It is a good way to show to friends and family that you think about them, or to wish a happy birthday for example.

  • Skype is a useful software used by more and more people each day. It is a free way to have vocal conversations, as well as conversations through web cam. If you need to “speak” to someone who is far away from you, this might be the solution you need.

If good relationships are not enough for you in order not to regret leaving your home country, try to create, at least in your room, an atmosphere that reminds you your sweet home. Posters, presents from friends, pictures and so one help to create a friendly environment. Also check out these great tips if you really miss home a lot while being abroad and how to make the most of your stay abroad.

5 thoughts on “How to deal with Culture Shock

  1. Pingback: How to deal with Culture Shock | EducationHeat

  2. Zoila

    Culture shock is a problem that most international student faces when studying abroad especially when new really in a foreign land. So preparation should also be done to minimize shock. Reading information about the country would help a lot to build confidence.

  3. George

    Hey, really great blog post… I’ve enjoyed reading through your blog because of the great style and energy.

    I actually work for the CheapOair travel blog. If you’re interested, we would love to have you on as a guest blogger. Please send me an e-mail: gchristodoulou(at)cheapoair(dot)com, and I can give you more information. Looking forward to hearing from you.

  4. Sofia @ As We Travel

    I think Skype is one of the best ways of staying in touch with people back home, it’s much more personal than facebook :)

    I also think traveling with somebody helps you deal with culture shocks better, as you have somebody to share our thoughts and feelings with who completely understands as they’re going through the same thing.

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