How to Surpass Culture Shock while Studying Abroad?

21K School · Jul 27, 2023 · 3 min read

With the top-notch education and global chances it offers, students studying abroad have become a ubiquitous & cultural shock. Even though studying abroad has apparent benefits, it’s not always straightforward. When a person is studying abroad, it’s normal to occasionally miss home, especially if they are interacting with various cultures than their own.

Studying abroad involves adjusting to a new culture and learning a new way of life. But, the good news is that overcoming the cultural shock is not tricky. So, let’s get into more detail about culture shock and how one can overcome such quite easily!

Cultural Shock – What is it?

International students may get a culture shock when they first move to a new country since they will be exposed to a significantly different culture. Experiencing and adjusting to new things can cause culture shock, which is characterized by feelings of confusion, bewilderment, and homesickness.

Psychological symptoms like unhappiness and frustration can also result in physical signs like headaches and nausea. Dealing with culture shock is common for international students since studying abroad is a significant life adjustment and is quite intimidating.

But how should one overcome such? That brings us to the next part: the tips to overcome cultural shock!

5 Tips on How to Deal with Cultural Shock

If one has traveled to study abroad, they’re probably eager to experience a new setting and learn about a different culture. However, cultural shock is common, and it is possible to get over it. Here are the best tips to overcome the same.

1. Realize that Adjusting takes time

Being homesick and experiencing culture shock during school’s first few weeks and months is quite common for students. There will be times when students feel frustrated or bewildered, along with others, when they are excited and intrigued by cultural differences.

The most appropriate thing is to set objectives for themselves, such as taking up a new hobby that is impossible at home or acquiring one new “foreign” item per week to share with family & friends back home.

2. Make New Friends

Making the most of one’s experience is another typical strategy for overcoming culture shock when studying abroad. One will get the chance to socialize with new folks worldwide and make new connections and friends.

So, they can find kids who understand them from their nation, or also make new friends from other cultures and try to learn about and share their own culture. One can join societies and clubs to get over the culture shock. Doing it allows them to meet people with the same interests and create lifelong friendships.

3. Focus on the Positive

It will be simple for one to concentrate on what is “missing,” such as comforting foods and traditions from home. However, comparing situations won’t help one adjust when experiencing culture shock abroad.

So, instead, one should make a list of enjoyable or fascinating discoveries and add to it throughout the year. To practice speaking the local language, they may write their list in a journal, blog, or even a brief message on their phone.

4. Travel & Explore your New Places

It’s simple to overlook all the fun aspects of studying abroad while experiencing culture shock at university. But it is focusing on the good & how much one has to look forward to rather than being homesick & what one is missing that will help.

While culture shock is common when studying abroad, one doesn’t have to let it consume them. Hence, exploring the surroundings can help one to know their host nation better.

When struggling with culture shock at university, becoming familiar with the local transportation system, customs, and surroundings may help one feel much more at ease and even change the game.

5. Keep an Open Mind

Consider things from different perspectives. If a classmate or teacher behaves differently than one might anticipate, they should realize how their upbringing and culture have influenced them. So, they should do the same for them as they would like their foreign classmates to accept and understand their differences.

Don’t Let Cultural Shock Stop or Ruin your Journey!

There is more to living abroad than weekend trips and late-night celebrations. It occasionally combines challenges, an introduction to a new culture, and an emotional roller coaster. The ups and downs, nevertheless, are worthwhile. As after one goes back home, they’ll put all the things that annoyed them behind and cherish the friendships and memories they built instead.


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