In life, we may once in a while have to move from the usual places that we are used to. We may have to move to settle in a new country that most of the times may be so different from our own. We are forced to move either for short terms or extended periods.
We are either on vacation or on job assignments and sometimes to study. The thought of having to move makes people panic. Culture Shock is the effect that we suffer from having to relocate.
The experience is different depending on individuals and depending on the location that they are moving to. The time that is taken by individuals before they settle is also a primary concern. Cultural shock is caused by many things.
The most known causes of shock are the weather in the new location, culture, values, customs, mode of dressing, landscape and the food. These aspects may make you feel like you are in the wrong place. It is good to note that cultural shock is not suffered solely by people who have moved from one country to another. Even moving within the same country could cause cultural shock.
Culture Shock? - Yale Essay
Cultural shock is known to affect people a lot. In most cases, it reduces productivity.
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Different people will behave differently when facing a cultural shock. The first sign of cultural shock is feeling homesick. Here comes realization that the honeymoon is over.
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Everything is terrible: starting from the water quality, ending with being frustrated by circadian rhythms, acceptable for the locals. Quite often this stage is accompanied by a number of physiological symptoms: one may experience insomnia, daytime drowsiness, even problems with digestion for the reason of unusual water and food, that turns from a local specialty into a regular diet. Being firm in the decision to stay in the host country, one usually comes to the negotiation stage.
Experienced Culture Shock
Asking questions about the new environment, comparing the answers they would give at home, a person eventually finds solutions to a number of problems that could have seemed fatal. Once this stage is over, the most troublesome period of getting used to the life in a new environment is completed. Negotiations stage is followed by adjustment. You slowly but surely learn how to perceive your new way of life as a regularity, not a stress factor. Usually, people form new habits and standards of behavior to become an integral part of society they are to live in.
The next stage differs only in degree of assimilation: that is the mastery of all the components of a new life. Having acquired the necessary knowledge and skills, individual gets completely blended into the culture, that seemed to be impossible to adapt to. Ideally, a person learns how to balance between staying faithful to their roots and loving new place they live in.
Duration and intensity of the assimilation period may vary from person to person. The first one is not to lose your own identity: staying connected with family and friends from a home-country may bring the sense of comfort, that expatriates often lack. The second is quite demanding. Generally, it would require one not to give up.
Cultural Shock Essay
Maintaining cultural identity and assimilating with the new social situation means a lot of work. Maintaining sense of humor is also beneficial: smile is a cure for a number of problems, including homesickness. Going through a culture shock is challenging. However, taking steps to make it a little milder, it is possible to reduce the levels of worry and anxiety.