How to Cope with Culture Shock

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In today's global economy, where major firms have branches in most areas of the world, many more people than ever before contemplate living in another country. For some this means a job in a country with the same first language, but for most the first language of the country will be different. This is especially true of non-native English speakers. The culture of the host country may also be very different, even when the shift is to a country with the same lingual background. These factors lead to a condition referred to as culture shock. The simple fact is that everyone who lives in a country with a different language will suffer from some form of culture shock. Although the conclusions appear to have validity for people who move to a country with the same first language, theorists regard the different lingual background as the vital factor in causing culture shock. The secret to dealing with it lies in recognising the symptoms and being aware of the approaches that will lessen its effect.What is Culture Shock?The term comes from Schumann's Theory of Acculturation which aims to explain the stages that an immigrant goes through from arrival to eventual assimilation. As Schumann himself acknowledges, very few people will stay long enough in a foreign country to fully assimilate, but those people that stay for a year or more will move along the continuum to some extent.The Euphoric StageWhen a person arrives in a new country the first stage that they will go through is the euphoric stage. At this stage everything about the new culture will delight and amuse the new arrival. The country from which the person has travelled...
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