Homesickness and Culture Shock

As a result, navigation of surroundings gets easier, friends are made, and everything becomes more comfortable. Culture shock refers to feelings of uncertainty, confusion, or anxiety that people may experience when moving to a new country or experiencing a new culture or surroundings. This cultural adjustment is normal and is the result of being in an unfamiliar environment. Culture shock and being homesick is normal – all students experience a period of adjustment during the first weeks and months of school. Be patient with yourself and understand that it is a process. You will be excited and intrigued about cultural differences, but there will also be times where you are frustrated or confused.

Be prepared to hear some girls from ecuador stories of frustration, and keep in mind that your student may be just looking for an understanding ear rather than asking you to solve the problem. This is an offer for educational opportunities that may lead to employment and not an offer for nor a guarantee of employment. Students should consult with a representative from the school they select to learn more about career opportunities in that field. Program outcomes vary according to each institution’s specific program curriculum.

  • Sees the differences between the old and new culture are seen in a romantic light, wonderful and new.
  • The more knowledge you have about your new environment, the better.
  • They isolate themselves from the host country’s environment, which they come to perceive as hostile, withdraw into an “ghetto” and see return to their own culture as the only way out.
  • Your alone time is important, but try not to isolate in your room too much.

There will be lots of people who want to help you, and universities are very much used to helping people who are feeling homesick or sad. Your university might be able to offer to buddy you up with someone, or have a free counselling service you can take advantage of. The offerings of societies and activities at universities are wide and varied. You might choose to join a sports team, a faith based society, or a hobby society. Your university might even have a society specifically for international students, who will all have experienced some level of culture shock. Establishing a routine can really help you to cope with your feelings of culture shock.

Culture Shock

However, it may also invite a sense of feeling a little lost in the world. The student begins to feel more comfortable in the new environment. What was once “threatening” and unknown has become acceptable and familiar. Share your experience to inspire other students.

Culture Shock Affects American Students

So I was like, I need to be somewhere familiar to process the rest of this. And I scraped up all of my coins literally and booked a ticket home at the very last minute so you can imagine how much money I paid. And what are the things that my therapist reminded me of was that you know, sometimes relationships fizzle out. You know, as I’m in my first year, I did not know what those were.

The Frustration Stage

There’s no guaranteed cure, but try these tips for the best way to help alleviate feelings of homesickness. Traveling to a different country can be exciting and rewarding.

Take photos of your new home and show them to your family back home. Explain why you love these photos and what they mean to you.

You might be facing a language barrier, feel like you are not on the same academic level as other students, or be lonely without your home friends around you each day. Studying abroad can be a life-changing experience filled with adventure and growth, but it can also come with its challenges. One of the most common struggles faced by students who pursue study abroad courses is homesickness, missing friends and family back home, and feeling disconnected from familiar surroundings.

Simply focus on your breathing for a few moments. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and think about five things in your life that you are grateful for. This quick exercise can help stop any negative thought spirals in your mind and get you back on track.

Some begin to see these differences as “defects” in the host culture. Others, criticized for inappropriate actions, respond by “blaming the hosts,” thereby increasing their own alienation and justifying their attitudes. This makes it even more difficult for them to evaluate their own behavior or objectively observe the host culture. Traveling internationally doesn’t guarantee peace of mind, however. This is a tough one because let’s be honest, everyone procrastinates at one point or another when it comes to homework.

I think the difference was that in my mind I knew Tokyo wasn’t just a trip. This was my new home, and these loud sounds, intense smells, and bright lights were something I was going to have to deal with every day. I think that’s the difference and maybe where homesickness starts to sink in. After some time (usually one-third to one-half way through an experience), you become less excited about your host environment and become confused and frustrated. You believe you will never learn the language, the culture doesn’t’t make sense, you’re discouraged, and as an international student, your family will not be here to support you so you become homesick. As such, this is the most difficult stage of adjustment.

John, who is currently studying abroad in London, is familiar with leaving the country for extended periods of time. Having already studied in Amsterdam and heading to Japan in just two weeks, her passion for travel is evident, but the lingering feelings of homesickness never seem to fully go away. Even after being in Amsterdam for about four months, John went through bouts of depression for two weeks after she arrived in London. Frustration may be the most difficult stage of culture shock and is probably familiar to anyone who has lived abroad or who travels frequently. At this stage, the fatigue of not understanding gestures, signs and the language sets in and miscommunications may be happening frequently. Small things — losing keys, missing the bus or not being able easily order food in a restaurant — may trigger frustration. And while frustration comes and goes, it’s a natural reaction for people spending extended time in new countries.

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