Will I Get Culture Shock Overseas?
What Should I do about it?
Yes, you’ll probably get it. But “shock” is a bit of an overstatement.
You can expect to feel euphoric – I finally made it!,
Angry – Why can’t I make things work, like back home!,
Depressed and disappointed – Everything isn’t exactly like I wanted and expected it to be!,
And isolated – I don’t really know anyone here.
That’s okay, these feelings are normal. After all this is a very big time in your life and of course you will have some strong feelings about it!
These emotional reactions are all natural responses to the situation you will find yourself in when you are first abroad.
How to deal with it?
Get busy! Personal projects, work, travel, making friends, even volunteering can help you feel better.
But, also take a little time and just recognize the feelings for what they are.
One of the best articles about dealing with Culture Shock is at About.com Culture Shock
When you experience problems abroad, don’t forget that you can have problems with your job, boss, landlord, and friends back home too. Don’t blame it all on your host country.
Know that once you have lived in several countries, the effects of culture shock diminish as you learn to have more realistic expectations, and as you just naturally learn how to deal with it.
Part of the issue with culture shock is also the uncertainty of your new situation, how it is going to evolve and your general feelings about it.
Follow the same course of treatment for culture shock. Quit moping around the house and get busy.
Check the chart below for a better understanding of what goes on and your choices:
Ted’s Tips™ #1: It is important to realize that you are responsible for yourself and your feelings. Pay attention to your feelings and take action if you find that your mental health status is not exactly as you would like it to be.
Ted’s Tips™ #2: Get busy in your new community. Get involved. It can make a big difference in your adaptation to a new setting.