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Culture Shock

Many students may become homesick, bored, mistrustful or withdrawn when they travel to a new country. This is called 'Culture Shock.'  This is very common and there are ways of dealing with Culture Shock.

Individuals suffering from Culture Shock may spend all of their time with other Americans or become critical of the host culture. 

There are four (4) main 'Stages of Culture Shock'

1. The Honeymoon Stage
During the 'Honeymoon Stage' of Culture Shock, Study Abroad participants may idealize the host country/culture and be delighted.
Everything seems perfect.

2. The Frustration Stage
In this stage, frustrations may be triggered by miscommunications, a different climate, and and unexpected hassles. 
Everything seems annoying.

3. The Adjustment Stage
Once travelers become more familiar with the new people, food and language, they may become 'acclimatized' to the host culture.
Everything seems OK.

4. The Acceptance Stage
The final stage of cultural adaptation is acceptance - the host culture is neither perfect nor a source of difficult frustration. 
Each country, including the United States, has its positive and its negative parts. Nowhere is perfect and nowhere is altogether bad.
Everything is in perspective.

Advice for Dealing with Culture Shock
1. Do not get on social media and complain to people back home. Give things time. Relax. Keep a journal of your experiences.
2. Do not hide away from the locals or others. If you need a break, take a little time to yourself, then get right back into your experience.
3. Do remember the stages of culture shock and keep things in perspective. Talk about it.
4. Do talk to your faculty leader or the Coordinator for International Programs if you are feeling like you need help.