7 Tips For Dealing With Culture Shock When Studying Abroad

dealing with culture shock when studying abroad

The Necessity Of Dealing With Culture Shock When Studying Abroad

abroad. Culture shock refers to the feeling of unease, disorientation, and homesickness that can happen when one is suddenly thrown into an unfamiliar cultural environment. Some of its symptoms include depression, anxiety, nausea, and even headaches! It can greatly affect one’s time abroad, so it is a necessary phenomenon to understand and overcome.

Fortunately, we have created this article to help you do just that. Our seven tips will help you nip this unpleasant occurrence in the bud. If you follow our guidelines here, your stay in your new country should be a lot more pleasant.

Without further ado, let us move on to our first tip.

1. Research The Country You Are Going To Before You Go There

A big part of culture shock is being exposed to the unknown. If you go to another country with very little idea about what is awaiting you there, you are more likely to be affected by what you experience. Conversely, if you research the local customs, foods, and dress, you will be more mentally prepared for the location you are visiting.

This does not have to be any kind of in-depth research, either. Spending about an hour in total reading articles, watching videos, and listening to music related to the place you are going to study is enough exposure to blunt the blow and hopefully prevent full-on culture shock.

2. Immerse Yourself in The Local Culture 

Our first instinct upon feeling culture shock might be to pull away in frightened hesitation. However, dealing with culture shock when studying abroad often requires you to take the plunge completely and immerse yourself in this unfamiliar environment.

Through this kind of exposure, although you might be uncomfortable at first, you will learn to appreciate the intricacies of the place’s customs. In time, you might even grow to like your new culture more than the one you were born and raised in!

3. Make New Friends

A big part of culture shock is loneliness. We are faced with a new world with none of our friends to help us understand and process it. Therefore, one of the best ways to combat and even prevent culture shock is by making new friends.

That said, making friends can be intimidating if we are also experiencing culture shock symptoms. Here, we must do our best to get out of our comfort zone and just go for it. Who knows? You might meet some people who are feeling as much culture shock as you are in their new place of residence!

4. Keep in Touch With Friends and Family Back Home

Again, homesickness is one of the elements that exacerbates culture shock. Your family and friends back home won’t be as reachable, which could be a significant adjustment. Keeping in touch with the people you care about is one strategy for dealing with culture shock when studying abroad.

Keep in touch with your loved ones and inform them of your progress by using WhatsApp, Skype, or Zoom, as appropriate. To cope with culture shock better, share your experiences with others and keep up your relationships.

5. Surround Yourself With Familiar Items

University packing is a hectic process. Not only do you want to make sure you will not forget anything crucial, but you also do not want to overpack. Memorabilia and familiar objects can be a big help in relieving culture shock when studying abroad by making you feel at ease and bringing back memories.

Cooking your favourite meals and being in touch with your origins while you are studying abroad is another method to surround yourself with familiar objects. The goal is to soften the impact of the foreign culture on your by remembering your own.

6. Make An Effort to Learn The Local Language

Although this falls under immersing yourself in the local culture, learning its language should be its own category for dealing with culture shock when studying abroad. This can mean studying the language before coming to the country as well as the grammar and vocabulary you pick up when you actually start communicating with the locals.

Make an attempt to pick up a few basic phrases. Making friends is a side benefit in addition to learning more about the culture because language and culture are intertwined. Additionally, it is quite entertaining and might make you forget about culture shock altogether.

7. Ask Your Program Organizer or Counsellor For Help

If all else fails, consider talking to your program organizer or university counsellor. There is no shame in asking for help.

You will probably have a point of contact whether you are studying, volunteering, or working overseas. Do not be afraid to ask them what other people have found difficult to adapt to and what they have done to deal with it. You will experience a different situation in the UK than you would, for instance, in Australia because every nation has its own quirks. Who knows best? Ask them!

Those Are Our Tips For Dealing With Culture Shock When Studying Abroad

Did you enjoy them? Did you find them relevant? We hope so. Even if you did not, you will probably understand what we are talking about when you get around to moving out and finally seeing for yourself just what moving to another country entails.

However, this article is not meant to scare you. Studying abroad is a wonderful experience and we have dedicated ourselves to helping prospective students like yourself achieve their dream. Read up on some of our other articles on similar topics or take a gander at the specific services we provide.

We hope you have a nice day and make your vision of what you could be a reality!

Recommended Read:-

  • ALLEN Global
  • 24 July, 2023