Culture shock is often experienced by sojourners or people who temporarily reside in another place or another country for a certain amount of time. Unlike vacationers whose stays are short, the sojourner stays in the new place for a considerable amount of time, requiring them to adapt to the new culture. However, when the new culture is very different from the sojourner’s own then culture shock can happen, which often manifests in the form s of physical, mental, and social distress for the sojourner.
Culture shock is the inability of a person to easily adapt to the culture of a new place, especially when the new culture is very different from their own and when they do not have familiar things and people around them. As a result, students who experience culture shock feel confused and disoriented in the new place. They become lonely, depressed, and anxious. They can also become physically ill and they are unable to perform well academically. To better prepare for living in another country, students should try to educate and familiarize themselves with the new country in terms of its norms and customs. They should also try to find out the kind of support that’s available to them in the said country and how they can obtain such support.
- Definition of culture shock
- Culture shock is the stress and the difficulties that people feel when they move to a foreign country where the culture is very different from their own native culture and where they have no social support (Furnham, p. 19, Conclusion)
- Culture shock is the condition where people feel disoriented and confused upon being placed into a new environment where the culture is very different from their own and where the familiar things they are used to are not present (Hamboyan & Bryan, p. 1714, Paragraph 3).
- Culture shock is the experience or condition where people get disoriented about their own identity as a result of being placed in an environment where the culture is very different from their own and where the things that they identify with are not present (Cameron & Kirkman, p. 2, Paragraph 2).
- Cultural shock is an experience brought about by various stressors that result from exposure to a different or new culture, whether it pertains to societal culture or organizational culture (Winkleman, p. 121, Paragraph 1)
- Effects of culture shock on international students :
- They become mentally and physically ill (Furnham, p. 17, paragraph 3)
- They suffer from psychosocial distress as depicted by their loneliness, depression, inability to excel academically, and others (Hamboyan & Bryan, p. 1713, Paragraph 2)
- They may find it hard to cope with their academic requirements due to the differences in the teaching and learning styles employed in their native country and those that are used in their host country (Cameron & Kirkman, p. 3, Paragraph 2)
- They may feel confused, disoriented, and uncomfortable with the cultural differences, which can make them feel paranoid and helpless (Winkleman, p. 122, Paragraph 3).
- How can people prepare themselves before they leave their own country
- They should familiarize themselves with the foreign country through vacations (Furnham, p. 16, paragraph 3)
- Students should undergo physical, psychological, and English proficiency tests before they leave their home country in order to determine their level of preparedness and so that they can be given more support if they need more preparation (Hamboyan & Bryan, p. 1715, Paragraph 3).
- Before leaving their home country, the students should find out the kind of support that their university provides to international students. This way, they’ll be reassured that they can get the support that they need and they would also know how to avail of the said support (Cameron & Kirkman, p. 4, Paragraph 2).
- It would be helpful for them to become aware of what culture shock is and
what the effects of culture shock are so that they can effectively deal with them once they experience such (Winkleman, p. 121, Paragraph 3).