Stages of Culture Shock

Topics: Sociology, Student, Culture Pages: 8 (3056 words) Published: January 14, 2013
Outline the stages of culture shock with reference to the literature and your own experience and make suggestions for how you could have dealt with culture shock better. With reference to the literature; also discuss the major differences between your home and host culture.

The phenomenon of culture shock is accompanied by almost everyone who goes outside of the home country, and sometimes even beyond the borders of the region where they grew up the longer stays and more difficult goals to achieve the greater probability for the experience of this process. Culture shock will not affect most tourists, who are going to holiday for two weeks, but is likely to affect student's in a language school, which will live for a month in the rhythm of the new country and its people, especially when it is accommodated in a student’s residents or renting a room from a local family. It seems inevitable for people who travel for half a year or longer, such as contract workers, immigrants and students who are going to Erasmus international exchange programs. Culture shock arises and increases slowly, as the growing number of unpleasant and difficult events, and the accompanying negative emotions accumulate. Culture shock is a phenomenon involving the functioning of people in mental, physical and social level, as a result of the difficulties encountered in the host culture difficulties, and its essence is experiencing negative emotions, which are accumulating, result in the deterioration of general well-being and satisfaction with life, and thus human functioning. Departure for a long time from the home university and stay in a foreign culture causes many problems in first weeks at many levels and returning back to the stable state can be difficult or even impossible for some people. Loads of British students are choosing hot countries as Spain as I did also. However, as I’m already international student in England from East Europe going to south of Europe was a natural decision to discover knew areas of world and cultures. Fallowing my experience essay is explaining few stages of cultural shock and influences on a student’s body and mind. (Hoffsted 2010)

Changing a culture can cause a shock. Start of daily life in a new culture can be, without any exaggeration, compare to start a new life. Even if the purpose of your trip seems to favour maintaining the current pace and way of life, as a continuation of studies, a residence for a longer period in a new country is associated with learning all the basic and seemingly obvious elements of everyday life from the beginning. The first challenge and often surprises are waiting when you try to reach the station or airport to the new place of residence. There is a whole series of questions: 'What to get? How to buy a ticket? How to find a taxi? Do I have to pay extra for luggage, or not? In the native country this type of problems are solved automatically, without thinking. We just knew what, when and how to do it. And the problem of transportation is not the most difficult one. Now when we know the rules of the use of transport we need to learn all other rules governing the social life and start to use them. When everyday life becomes a little tame, on the horizon there are more obstacles: norms, values and cultural symbolism in a new country. This process can be likened to learning how to read and write. Just as the child learns more letters and then what their combinations mean, as a stranger from another country must learn what is behind behaviour of members of a new culture and what the organization of public life is. Without understanding the hidden meanings and rules, it is impossible to communicate efficiently. Without the knowledge of the cultural code, finding and keeping jobs, passing a semester, make friends, receive support and assistance in times of trouble is paid for a lot of confusion, stress, and even unpleasant situations. (UK Council for International students Affairs....
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