HOW TO OVERCOME THE CULTURE SHOCK IF YOU STUDY ABROAD

Culture shock is a common thing encountered by those who live for a long time in a new place, students for example. This is commonly happened when a person comes to unfamiliar place for the first time. Without realizing the culture and habits inherent in a person comes from his own country. Therefore, when we enter a new environment, we realize that some things are different and we have to learn to adapt. For example, environmental conditions, such as campuses and classes that do not match expectations, can be one of the factors causing the symptoms of culture shock. Culture shock is considered a natural thing for most international students. However, this should not be taken lightly because it can trigger acute depression. For that, for those of you who intend to continue studying abroad, it’s a good idea to read this article first.

Before anticipating, first of all let’s identify the form of culture shock so that we can recognize it:

  1. The honeymoon phase

This stage is a stage that almost always occurs when you first arrive at the location. Initially we will feel happy when we arrive in a new country, especially one we have never visited before. Like people who are on a honeymoon, everything is beautiful and fun.

  1. The crisis or negotiation phase

This phase is the phase where we will start to feel uncomfortable with the surrounding environment. Gradually we begin to feel homesick and unsuitable, for example the food, the accent that is difficult to understand, or the language that makes us feel isolated and lonely. However, we will soon get through it and enjoy everything later if we are able to adjust well. Usually for students, the experience felt in this phase is anxiety due to cultural differences. Here we begin to experience what is often called homesick.

  1. The adjustment phase

Here we have started to interact well with the environment in a new country. This phase usually begins after 5-6 months. Everything will start to feel more “normal” because you can adjust to the local culture. Even after entering this stage, we feel like local residents because we can be more integrated with the environment, no longer feel different from the people around us.

  1. Bi-cultural or mastery phase

At this stage we have felt very comfortable with life. This is very good because it means we have been able to adapt to a completely new environment. We made it through a little natural selection. However, it would be nice if our adaptation did not forget the culture of our homeland, so that we still carry our own cultural characteristics with pride. Of course, there must be a balance between understanding and accepting other cultures without leaving our identity as Indonesians.

 

Then how to anticipate culture shock? Because like it or not, consciously or unconsciously we must go through this phase, although the form and response will be different for each individual.

  • Add your knowledge about the country of your study destination. The best way is to read guide books about the destination country, ask people who have lived there, browse the internet, and most importantly don’t imagine life there like we always see in movies or television. You might even be trapped in hallucinations and misunderstandings!
  • Also find out about the culture, customs, sports that are popular in the destination country to the topics of daily conversation and body language. One more thing you need to know is the sense of humor in the destination country, don’t let our jokes offend friends in foreign countries
  • Upon arrival in the destination country, immediately get to know the local life and know important places such as the post office, shops, doctors and international student services offices. All of that, of course, will not go smoothly if you feel afraid and anxious about the new environment. So, be brave to ask about the conditions and customs in a new place. In addition, also read local newspapers so that you know the topics of conversation that are hot and you can discuss with new friends
  • On campus there are usually supporting activities for students. Get info at the international student service center about vacation packages and campus activities that match your talents and interests. You will soon get to know your friends as the activities you participate in together. The point is, be a person who likes to socialize.

That’s all you guys can do to overcome the culture shock if you study abroad! Don’t be afraid to try new things for yourself as long as it gives a lot of benefit. Because you never know if you don’t try it! Remember that there’s no second chance await! Thanks for reading and keep your spirit up!

Sumber: Hotcourses Indonesia

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