Culture shock is an experience that a person may have when faced with an unfamiliar environment – like can happen when you go to a new country to study abroad. Moving from your home country will not be easy at first. You will face challenges when you arrive in your new country. Things like how the locals relate to one another, the food, the transport system, the currency will be new. The following points will help you deal with culture shock once you arrive abroad.
Do some research
Before moving to a new country, do some research on the language and the way of life. Before moving from Kenya to Michigan, USA, I watched many youtube videos from African students living in America. That way, I was able to prepare myself mentally for life ahead.
When you first move to a new country, the food will be new to you. What people eat for breakfast in your home country is different from what people eat in America. Most Americans love canned food because they either don’t like cooking or don’t have time to cook food themselves. Do not shy away from tasting new food. Go for it, and you might love it.
Look around for shops that sell food that you are familiar with or love to eat. You can also browse the internet for information about where to buy foods or even spices.
It will also help if you carry some food from when you first move since it may take you longer to start loving local food.
Make use of the international office
Most universities have an office that’s in charge of international students’ affairs. Suppose you need information on how to get around town, where to do your shopping, or where to hang out, you should ask. That office is accommodating and welcoming to international students, be it where to board the taxi or call for a cab. Someone from the office will take you through the whole process, making life for international students a lot easier.
Join student clubs
It is advisable to join student clubs because it will improve your social skills. I made so many friends when I joined the foreign language club. It even shaped my future and my decision to move once again to a whole different country and culture.
Talk about your experiences.
Moving to a new county may be overwhelming at first. I used to cry a lot during the first few days. I was dealing with being away from friends and family, and all that loneliness was getting me depressed with each passing day. Talking about my new experiences with my fellow students helped me a lot. Try your best to open up. The international office in charge of international students is your go-to place when you feel stressed and need help.
Be willing to learn
A new country means new culture and being out of your comfort zone. Make it your job to learn the new culture. Make it your job to talk to people. Meeting new people is always interesting – especially when they are from the host country. As a study abroad student, I learned that how people relate to each other in America was very different from what I was used to in my country. When you are not sure about what to do, ask. I took my time to learn, and with a little time, I was enjoying life in my new country.