- Sep 01, 2019
The first and foremost challenge that every international student has to face is the cultural shock you have to go through while you adjust to life in a new country. The way certain things are done in the host country are definitely going to be different from the ways you would do things in your home country. It is true that pursuing higher studies abroad is exciting and rewarding.
However, it requires an extensive preparation to manage the culture shock and to adapt to a new culture. Beliefs, customs, laws and attitudes of people are very different from the ones back in your home county. Culture shock can be more than a feeling of homesickness; it can often lead to symptoms such as frustration and confusion. But, with proper guidance and timely attention to yourself, you can definitely overcome it.
Let us take a quick look at some of the tips that will help you to conquer the ill effects of culture shock.
The initial first four stages
Culture shock generally moves through four different phases: honeymoon, frustration, adjustment and acceptance. While individuals experience these stages differently and the impact and order of each stage varies widely, they do provide a guideline of how we adapt and cope with new cultures.
Do not let depression dominate you
Dealing with your frustration or distress and then letting it go is the best possible thing you can do while studying abroad. Jot down your thoughts on paper or start your own blog where you can share your thoughts (also anonymously if you want!). It can also be a good exercise in reflection, because when you look back a month later you will have more clarity as to why you were feeling the way you were and how to prevent those feelings from coming back a second time.
Make new local friends
Make some local friends to understand the culture properly. It will help you not only to mingle with them but also minimize the language barrier. Make an effort to learn the language as it will help to understand the culture better. Also develop friendships with other fellow students who are from different countries as it will be easier to connect with them on the same cause.
Be independent and do your own stuff
If you are not used to doing things on your own such as washing clothes, cooking and cleaning, studying abroad will teach you a thing or two. This is the perfect opportunity for you to do things by yourself. By learning to cook your favorite meals, you will be able to easily cook them in your host country and be reminded of home.
Studying abroad is not all weekend getaways and late night parties. It is a challenge, an introduction to a new culture, and an emotional roller coaster at times. However, it is one worth taking. Some of the top overseas higher education consultants in Bangladesh believe that culture shock makes a student strong mentally as he/she learns to take negativeness in their stride. But, once you are home you will forget the things that made you sad and be nostalgic about the memories that you made with your new friends.