International Students Should Handle the Culture Shock Gracefully

The very opportunity to study abroad comes in with lots of excitement and chance for some amazing experiences. However things might not be as rosy as one imagines, the simple enough reason being the difference in the cultures between the two countries.

These differences in various ways might lead to incidents which prove to be irritating and frustrating and leave you with a longing to return home.

The positive side to this is that there is couple of things that one can do on their part to ensure that they are not caught up with this and that they can continue with their studies or internships without much hassles. But before getting into how to avoid or get rid of the same, one must be clear on what cultural shocks are.

What Are Cultural Shocks

When culture is the point of concern, most of us do not really understand what they are until and unless we face people of different cultures. Most of our behavior and attitude is a result of the culture in which we have been brought up in.

When we face people with different cultures or behavior that are contradictory to ours, the way we react to such situations is consider as the cultural shock. Some of the most common outcomes of the cultural shocks are:
-One feels lonely and feels they do not belong to the place.
-One might get fascinated by all the new things happening in and around them.
-One might accept the new culture and start enjoying the same.
-One might reject the new culture and deem them as strange.

How to Overcome

All said and done, it is not impossible to get over with the cultural shock. There are a few things that one can follow so that they triumph over the cultural shocks and rather have a pleasant time. One of the best ways is to do proper research of the place that you are about to travel to.

A research should include the general behavior of people, things that one can go ahead with or without any issues and also the things that one should avoid at all costs. Some of the best resources for getting such valuable information are international newspapers, magazines, guidebooks related to the place and it is even fruitful to do research on the economy and politics of the country. This would act as the perfect precautionary preparation to stay away from the major cultural shocks.

Once you are in new place, there are still several measures that you can take for the same. For an instance, making a friend of the same culture would help you understand the culture immensely. However one must be careful in not expressing any sorts of hatred or disliking for their culture. Once you are in the place it is always a good idea to become a part time tourist. Becoming a tourist sometimes or the other helps to understand the ways in and out, this would again keep you clean of any cultural shock.

At the time of learning and understanding a new culture it is also very important for a person to stay close with his own traditions and ethnicity. For an instance, it would a great idea to watch your favorite movie, cook the food you love to eat at home, listening to music in your own language, etc. It also calls for great diversification if you can manage to celebrate your festivals or holidays in a subtle manner of course.

Exploring a new place on foot is considered to be one of the most effective ways to understand their ways of living. A walk allows you to take a closer look at things that you would otherwise miss out. All the while it is also a good idea to maintain a personal journal about the happenings and the new things that you have learnt. One can also share sometime with other new people and find out which are the things that trouble them the most.

If one takes an initiative to talk people and trying to understand the new culture is the best possible way to stay fit mentally and not get into cultural shock which might spoil the trip to upgrade education.

Arushi Seth

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