Cultural Shock Script

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CULTURE-SHOCK COMEDY-DRAMA (University of Leeds version)
By the Leeds Universities Chaplaincy team

(In the performance area throughout the play are a table and two chairs)


Thank you for coming to see our Culture Shock Comedy Drama.

I guess there may be several reasons why you decided to come. Maybe you liked the word “Comedy” in the title? Well, we definitely hope to make you laugh today. Maybe you liked the word “Drama”? Well, I have to warn you, it won’t be Shakespeare, but we will definitely be doing some acting for you. Maybe you want to find out more about culture shock, but you don’t want to have to read through yet another leaflet? (Don’t we give you a lot of things to read when you first get here?!) Well, you’ll be pleased to know that we’ve read the leaflet – this very useful one from an organisation called UKCISA – and now we’re going to demonstrate what it says. So please relax and enjoy “the Culture Shock Comedy Drama”!

What is culture?
Culture has been defined as ‘All of a person’s normal behaviour within their own society’. It includes our language, our traditions, the way we dress, what food we eat and the kind of things that make us laugh. Most of the time we don’t even think about it because it’s all we’ve ever known.

However when we move to another country and experience another culture, we experience what is commonly known as ‘Culture Shock.’ Everything seems unfamiliar and it takes time to adjust. Someone was once asked to describe what this culture shock felt like and they said, ‘It’s like arriving in Amsterdam with a map of Singapore.’

Our drama begins with an international student, Seija, saying goodbye to her parents in Finland…..


(Seija, an international student, is packing last things into the backpack. Mother and Father are standing nearby. Father helps the almost too heavy bag onto the Seija’s back. There follows an emotional farewell.)

Seija:Always too many things to take I hope Customs will let me go through.

Father: What are you carrying? The wardrobe and the kitchen sink?

Mother: I will miss you.

Seija: I will miss you too!

Mother: Hei, hei- bye, bye (hugging Seija)

Seija: Mama, hei, hei

Father: Hei, hei- bye, bye (hugging Seija)

Seija: Papa, hei, hei.


So our International Student leaves home and arrives at University of Leeds, where she begins to settle into her new accommodation.


(Seija is unpacking her things-books, clothes, photos etc onto a desk. She is whistling or humming. ‘WELCOME TO LEEDS’ Is written on the front of the desk. She goes out and meets Paul, a British volunteer from the International Students’ Club.)

Seija:(To herself) I need to do some shopping now.

Seija: Hi

Paul: Hi, my name’s Paul. What‘s your name?

Seija: My name is Seija. I come from Finland.

Paul: Finland!? I’ve got something from Finland in my pocket (takes out mobile and plays the Nokia ring-tone – Nokia! It gets really cold in the winter in Finland doesn’t it? And aren’t there over 50,000 lakes in your country….?

Seija: Yes, you seem to know a lot about my home country. Have you visited Finland?

Paul: Only on the internet. Is this your first visit to England?

Seija: Yes, and I am so excited about everything. England is so green and the houses are so cute. In front of the houses there are small lovely gardens with beautiful flowers. The weather is much milder than in Scandinavia and the sun seems to shine more. The food is also very different and I love the hot puddings in the Refectory. I feel it’s so wonderful to experience all these new things. By the way to start my new life in Leeds I would need to do some shopping. Do you know where the nearest Supermarket is, please?

Paul: The nearest Supermarket is Morrison’s, it’s about 10...
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