This research paper will attempt to define ND explore the term culture shock, identify different stages in the process, share first-hand experiences and provide some personal remedies for dealing with culture shock as it relates to International travel. Modern technology allows an increasing amount of people to travel easily and quickly more often. Though man has always been mobile and has throughout history interacted with other units, tribes, nations and peoples, never before has the position of the individual been so favorable. Traveling and living abroad is more the standard than an exception among young students nowadays.
With the flow of people also flow new ideas, concepts, ideologies and views. Through school and educational background, the media and arts, new views are continually being introduced to the public. However, only through traveling and living abroad can one get the actual experience of the things that we hear about in the classroom or on television. The term ‘culture shock’ was originally created by the anthropologist Berg to describe the effects that living in a different country or culture can have. Berg assumed that we go through distinct phases in adapting to a foreign environment.
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We tart in a honeymoon phase where we see everything as positive and enjoy the foreign experience; then we plunge into a period of culture shock where we feel disoriented and helpless and may become irritated or even depressed. Gradually, we work ourselves out of this potential crisis situation and come to a recovery or gradual adaptation. This is the stage where we understand what is different from our own country and have developed a compromise between our own values and the values of the foreign counterparts. In one of my studies, I investigated the symptoms of culture shock at six months into a foreign assignment.
The most frequent symptoms reported by international managers working all over the world were feeling isolated, anxiety and worrying, performance deficits and helplessness. “Culture shock’ describes the impact of moving from a familiar culture to one which is unfamiliar. It is an experience described by people who have traveled abroad to work, live or study; it can be felt to a certain extent even when abroad on holiday. It can affect anyone. It includes the shock of a new environment, meeting lots of new people and learning the ways of a different country.
It also includes the shock of being separated from the important people in your life, maybe family, friends, colleagues, teachers: people you would normally talk to at times of uncertainty, people who give you support and guidance. When familiar sights, sounds, smells or tastes are no longer there you can miss them very much. Anyone going to live in a new country will experience a degree of В«culture shockВ» within a certain period of time after arrival in the new country. “Culture shockВ» may be defined as the feeling of being helpless and frustrated in a country where one neither speaks the language nor understands the culture.
Furthermore, В«culture hockВ» results from a new and totally different way of life and also from the inability to live as independently as one did in the native country.. When people visit or live in another country for the first time, they are often surprised at the differences that exist between their own culture and the culture in the other country. The most common way of comparing two cultures is in terms of their differences – not their similarities. These cultural differences do sometimes make people feel uncomfortable, frightened, or even Insecure.
It can be useful to recognize that there are several ‘stages’ of feeling associated with culture shock: . The ‘honeymoon’ period, when you feel excited about the new experience, and fascinated and delighted by being in the new culture. This can last for a few hours, days, weeks or months. 2. The ‘disintegration’ period is likely to come when you start to feel disoriented by not understanding some of the new signs and cues of the new culture. Values and information can conflict with your own, and you may find lectures difficult to understand and methods of studying different from whatnot are used to.
You can start to doubt your abilities and feel insecure. This is the most difficult time and you may feel depressed. . In the ‘reintegration’ period you may start to feel hostile towards the new place and culture and recognize all the negative things about it, at the same time realizing the validity and strength of the place and culture you have left behind. This is quite a healthy reaction as you are reconnecting with what you value about yourself and your own culture. 4. The ‘autonomy’ stage is when you start to feel more at home and have become more practiced at asserting yourself within your own and the new culture.
Different people will experience this process in different ways. Not everyone will go wrought every stage; some will switch Beethoven stages or experience aspects of some or all of them at once. It is important to realize that everyone coming into a new environment suffers from culture shock to some extent. People experience the same feelings of strangeness when traveling to or living in another country and this process has a cause, symptoms and resolution. Most people begin with great expectations and a positive mind- set.
There is excitement, new sights, new smells, new tastes and the early problems are experienced as quaint – as part of the newness – anything new is intriguing and exciting. And, anyway, there are more pressing problems to deal with, like opening bank accounts, getting drivers licenses, finding schools, doctors, dentists. These are usually handled with the accompanying euphoria of having overcome each of these first hurdles successfully. Immigrants may become withdrawn and passive or they may be aggressive. The more different the new culture is from their own, the greater the shock.
Newcomers have left behind family members, friends, teachers, and pets. They have lost their language and culture. Migrants are defined as people “who cross international borders in order to settle in another country, even temporarily. Currently, about three per cent of the world’s population is living outside its country of birth, which makes us the most mobile generation in the human history . The globalization, the encouraged mobility, the lowering costs of obtaining information, the development in communications and the global demand for workers have accelerated the migration flows also from Bulgaria.
In the last two decades, the country has turned into a large source of migrants and has been significantly affected by the consequences of the outflows. Since the fall of the Communist regime in 1 989, the population of the country has decreased by about or about one million and sixty hundred thousand people in absolute figures . Although the low birth rates and high mortality remain the main reasons for this population reduction, the migration has also played an important role.
When a person goes abroad and enters a new environment, cultural cues that have been taken for granted as simply part of the “fabric of life” no longer are assessed accurately. Life becomes unpredictable and people have problems coping with even routine aspects of living. The simplest, semi- automatic tasks such as listening to the radio, getting a drink of water, going to the grocery store, driving a car, or chatting with neighbors require full concentration and attention to complete successfully.
Since every detail, large and small, in the new environment demands the full attention of the expatriate, mental fatigue soon occurs which further frustrates the coping mechanisms. This experience, as anyone realizes who has spent time in a foreign country or in a strongly divergent subculture in their own country, is known as “culture shock. ” Studying at an American university can be quite challenging for international students. It is not easy to make generalizations about the united States – above all, it is a land above all, it is a land of diversity.
The size of the country, its geographic and climate differences, and the ethnic mix of its people all contribute to its variety. Still, there are a few characteristics you will encounter in typical Americans form the Atlantic to the Pacific. Coming into a foreign country has different stages . At first I was excited by the new environment and a few frustrations didn’t spoil my enthusiasm. When experiencing some difficulties with simple things like, for instance, aging telephone calls, or using public transport, I tended to down down-play negative emotions. A period in which cultural differences in behavior and values become more obvious.
What previously seemed exciting, new and challenging is now merely frustrating. I was feeling isolated. I was seeking security in the familiar. Food from home, possibly even what I never particularly enjoyed, became a focus, maybe an obsession. Immigrant children face many challenges. English language learners come to school with a wide range of life and educational experiences due to their diverse backgrounds. They may have come to the United States under false pretenses or may have been separated from family members to have a better life in search of the ‘American dream’.
Fraught with the stress of moving from one Country to another, they also struggle with not knowing the language. Communication is the number one difficulty almost all ELL students and parents struggle with; culture shock then follows. Culture shock is dealing with the stress of something new and unfamiliar. Students learning English as a second language may have come from a country where the goal of education is to teach and learn mechanically. These students will therefore not be used to learning by discovery and the thought of thinking critically and sharing out loud is unheard of.
ELLS might shy away from enjoyable class activities, group discussions, or team work because they may feel threatened by the language barrier, the unknown expectations of the activity, or simply losing face because they may not know the right answer. I know culture may affect classroom behaviors, but it also may influence comprehension Of content. The role of the school and the teacher is critical in creating a safe and welcoming atmosphere, one that supports the development of these dents as bilingual learners.
Teachers have a unique opportunity to utilize the culture and experiences ELLS bring to school to expand the learning of all students in the classroom. Reinforcing the effort helps students see a clear relationship between what they do and what they achieve. Through careful planning and open communication, school will not only make the first day of orientation for new ELLS an extremely pleasant experience, but will also create an atmosphere of inclusion and belonging that will result in a student’s desire to be in school, as well as increase his/her academic, social and personal achievements.
Psychologically, moving to a foreign country means stress for the individual. International assignments fall into the category Of stress called ‘life events’. Such major life changes put the individual at risk of psychological difficulties, such as depression, anxiety, alcoholism or what laymen typically call ‘nervous breakdown’. International managers who move abroad experience several such life events: changing country, changing jobs, and changing house – consequently, there is a high risk to psychological well-being and hence a high risk of performance deficits at work and, ultimately, a risk for the company.
Moreover, these changes affect the entire family. For many students & recent graduates, teaching abroad is an excellent opportunity to get practical experience overseas while also learning the language and culture of the host country. Even in challenging economic times, making sure that study abroad is part of our college students’ education sis vital investment. If we want a new generation of leaders and innovators who can be effective in an ever more globalizes world, sending our students overseas is onto luxury’. It’s a necessity. There’s a lot of fear in our society today.
Students who travel learn that ear is for people who don’t get out much. And they learn that the flip side of fear is understanding. Travelers learn to celebrate, rather than fear, the diversity on our planet. Learning in a different culture and place allows us to see our own challenges in sharp contrast, and with more clarity, as we observe smart people in other lands dealing with similar issues. Federal agencies are struggling to find employees who have the cross-cultural and foreign language capabilities to effectively meet our nation’s security and diplomatic needs.
Study abroad helps meet these challenges. The experience of living and learning abroad provides U. S. Undergraduate students with the opportunity to develop cross-cultural competency and international expertise. It also fosters self-confidence, independence, and leadership qualities. Study abroad is also becoming increasingly popular, especially at the undergraduate level. U. S. Students and teachers are going abroad in growing numbers, gaining the international exposure and cross-cultural knowledge that will prepare them for their future role in an interconnected world.
Community colleges are at a crossroads as they examine their role and unction in preparing the next generation of students to live and work locally, but within a global economy. The community college mission emphasizes direct learning experiences to teach cognitive and social skills. Few educational opportunities offer as direct and immerse a learning experience as education abroad. Thus, education abroad is directly aligned with the community college mission; contributes to credit transfer, career and technical preparation and community education; and is student-focused.
Education abroad is a pragmatic tool that ensures national security, encourages the development of politically active citizens who can contribute towards participatory democracy and social service, and provides career skills needed for work in the global economy. Students who participate in education abroad experience a significant growth in interpersonal skills, academic performance, cultural proficiency, and personal growth. Educating the individual, be it student, teacher, staff, administrator or trustee, is the foundation upon which international competency is built.
It is this competency that heightens the cross-cultural communication skills through which the individual can reconcile conflicting ideologies, perceive multiple perspectives, and respect a relativity of differences. There is no better environment than a different culture to learn how to think about the world in What makes some international executives highly unique ways. Successful whereas others struggle with basic everyday activities? If we are all so ‘global’ nowadays, what makes some of us more international than others?
It is not the number of air miles we clock up on transatlantic flights, nor the technical excellence we bring to our jobs that makes some of us more ‘global’ than others. Some international executives are highly successful while others struggle with basic everyday activities. We now know that it is our ability to manage culture shock in international business that makes a difference between failure and success. Living in a familiar, well- structured and predictable environment makes understanding easy. The meaning of expressions, gestures and cultural norms is clear.
But moving to another, maybe remote, part of the same country changes the autopilot status. We cannot take things for granted; all of sudden, it takes an effort to understand what is going on. Most importantly, we must learn new things ND develop and expand our thinking. Adjusting to life in the United States and minimizing the “culture shock” go hand-in hand. Both revolve heavily around creating and fostering relationships. An important step for a student to remedy “culture shock” is to be open-minded about their new environment.
The biggest downfall of students who cannot adjust to a new location is that they reinforce to themselves that things “aren’t as good as home” or that they “can’t be happy here”. Therefore, being open-minded about the positive aspects Of the new environment is essential. Open- mindedness is fostered by creating relationships. Which is why the International Student Office can be an essential part of the student’s adjustment to new surroundings. By meeting new people and sharing experiences, a student feeling “culture shock” will become comforted by realizing that other people are in a similar situation.
However, being around only other international students warrants caution; socializing entirely with other international students could perpetuate the negative stereotype of American culture that some international students carry. Minimizing culture shock stems from learning about American culture by those who know it best Americans. Therefore, interacting with both American and international students, preferably in the same setting, can minimize culture shock by reinforcing the concept that all cultures have much to offer, and therefore so does living in a different culture.
Certainly, all experiences Of culture shock are different. There is no set path that everyone necessarily adheres to strictly, following cultural displacement. There are potential positive aspects to the stress model of cross-cultural transitions. Appropriate and tolerable levels of stress can actually be a motivating force for learning and reference; the goal is to avoid overstress where the person stops learning and starts defending.
Culture shock is only the frustrating or negative stage of a broader transition process that has the potential for tremendous personal growth through psychological adjustment and the discovery of new world views. The key appears to be reduction of the debilitating effects of severe culture shock which can result in breakdown, withdrawal, or reluctance to interact in the new culture. References Anderson, Barbara Gallatin. Adaptive Aspects of Culture Shock. American Anthropologist 73 (5): 1121-1 Coffman, T. L. , and M. C. Harris. The LLC-Curve Of Adjustment To Adult Life Transitions.