Overcoming and coping with culture shock is not easy, so give yourself a big pat on the back because when you do, it leads to taking the next big step: resolution. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how to cope with culture shock.
While no one is immune to culture shock the stages mentioned in my previous post are conquerable. In addition, it is a learning experience that leads to broadened perspectives, tolerance and a great appreciation when it comes to other people’s cultures and yours too. Coping with culture shock is very important in order to have a well rounded university experience. Here are some few tips to help you fight culture shock when it comes knocking:
Force yourself out of hibernation and surround yourself with people who make you laugh your insecurities away. Make an effort to know others in your class or maybe doing the same course with you in University. This will help make life at school a bit easier because friendships will be created.
Take your Time
Adjust at your own pace and don’t let anyone rush you. Accept and embrace all the changes happening and make time to process through journaling your experiences. This will aid in relieving all your stress and emotions, plus in later years those journals serve as great way to refresh your memories.
Stay Connected to Home
Call back home once in a while just to keep yourself updated with family back home. In your first days of adjusting, don’t make it constant so as to reduce homesick episodes. In my experience, it was suggested to call home only once a month for starters, then proceed to twice and so on until you find a balance between home and the new environment.
Set goals and work on sticking to them. Through that you will end up striving to be the best in school thus opening up endless opportunities for you. Personally, during my exchange year my math and stage design classes were my favorite as I did exceptionally well. This empowered me to be the best and I got the chance to be selected for the school play.
Find One Thing you Truly Love
Find something that calms you and let that be a safe haven for you. It can be a sport, a co-curricular activity in school or even a specific pass time thing with your friends. For instance in my case, I loved the theatre program at my school and this was where I found peace whenever it got overwhelming.
Talk, Talk, Talk
Whenever you feel stressed or it gets to be too much always seek support from someone you trust, whether it be the school counselor, a friend or your host family. This is a tough time and you would be surprised how many people will be open to walk you through this process.
These six major tips are what helped me maneuver through my exchange year and make the best out my experience. Everyone adapts differently, but most revolve around the above-mentioned ways. Ups and downs will always be there but it’s important to stay positive and surround yourself with those who make you happy.