All new student's first days are one's of adjustment. For international students and students studying or researching abroad, adjustment is often more difficult as one must become familiar with a new culture, a new college campus, a new city, and sometimes also another language. Cultural adjustment often includes a series of highs and lows that are quite normal and can vary depending upon one's adaptability, knowledge of the host culture, and the degree of difference from your home culture as compared to the host culture.
Progression through the stages is not necessarily linear; you can fluctuate between stages—progress forward one minute and fall backwards the next minute based on context and experiences.
An emotional and psychological response to the stresses of living in and adjusting to a new environment and or culture. It often refers to the anxiety and uncertainly experienced due to a separation from one's culture, family and support system and the task of adjusting to a new culture.
|- Anxiety||- Lack of Energy||- Overly Critical|
|- Homesickness||- Lack of Focus||- Intense Feelings of Loyalty to Home Country|
|- Sadness/ Depression||- Changes in Sleep Patterns||- Exaggerated Cleanliness or Disorganization|
|- Withdrawal from Others||- Changes in Appetite||- Loss of Enjoyment in Daily Activities|
|- Irritability||- Headaches||- Loss of Self-Confidence/ Insecurity|
|- Loneliness||- Upset Stomach||- Dependence on Fellow Nationals|
|- Short-tempered||- Hostility||- Defensiveness|
|- Keep an Open Mind||- Observe, Research, and Ask Questions about U.S Culture|
|- Try to be Flexible and Patient||- Keep a Journal or Blog|
|- Try to be Optimistic||- Think Through Your Feelings Establish a Routine|
|- Keep a Good Sense of Humor||- Stay in Contact with Family/Friends/News from Home But Do Not Let It Interfere with Your Immersion in the Local Culture|
|- Don't Make Evaluative Comparisons||- Explore, Exercise, and/or Develop a Hobby|
|- Try to Make Local Friends||-Talk to Someone about How You are Feeling
Make an Appointment to Meet with the Senior Counselor to Talk About How You Feel
|- Establish a Routine||
- Try to get Involved On-Campus or in the Community
Reverse Culture Shock
An emotional and psychological response to the stresses of re-entering your home culture and re-acclimating yourself generally related to an idealized notion of home and an expectation that nothing has changed at home while you were away.
Reverse culture shock can be far more severe than initial culture shock because people typically do not anticipate it or prepare for it. In general, the severity of reverse culture shock is related to generally characterized by the amount of time you have spent in the host culture and the degree to which you have changed as a result of the experience. The symptoms are often the same symptoms as those noted above for culture shock.
Living Through Reverse Culture Shock