How to Lessen the Effects of Culture Shock
In our blog about the importance of mental preparedness to lessen the effects of culture shock, we offer some fundamental tools that you can use to help you adapt to your new life studying English abroad. As well as the things you can do to deal with culture shock, there are some things which you should NOT do, if you want to settle in more easily and enjoy this adventure.
Culture Shock won’t be so Bad if your Avoid these Behaviors
- Don’t compare
You will see differences everywhere but try to avoid comparing those with your home country. It won’t help you to settle in. Instead, see the differences as an opportunity to learn about a new culture and grow as a person!
- Don’t judge your new culture
Every country has things not to like about it, including yours, so try to understand your new culture, even the parts which seem strange. Your transition will not only be easier, but you will start to appreciate the differences and enjoy yourself.
- Don’t mix only with others from your home country
Avoid gravitating to cliques, clubs or sharing rooms with people from your native country.
- Don’t think about home too much
If you feel homesick, visit a restaurant that serves your native cuisine, or cook a meal that reminds you of home – but try not to be tempted to do this too often.
- Don’t be shy
As much as it might make you feel uncomfortable, initiate conversation with fellow classmates, your teacher, the school staff, even the locals. Ask questions. Don’t be worried about making mistakes in the language you are learning. People will respect you for trying, rather than judge you for minor grammar mistakes. As your confidence grows, your fluency will follow. Making mistakes is part of the study abroad experience and so, have a sense of humor and see it as part of the experience!
- Don’t isolate yourself
Don’t succumb to patterns of avoiding the outside world – such as staying in your bedroom all day. Remember that your fellow students are also experiencing some form of culture shock so go easy on yourself as you explore your new environment.
- Don’t neglect your health
Eating well, getting enough sleep and exercising regularly are so important to mental health. A healthy balanced routine goes a long way towards feeling in control and confident.
These tips will help you get through those earlier stages of culture shock and enrich your experience as an international student.
There’s more in our e-Guides about culture shock and how to survive it! Download here!