This post and video really struck a cord with me. I think something each student needs to keep in mind that adjustment is not a linear progression but can be circular and that’s ok 🙂 Sometimes there are big moments back home and you miss out because you’re abroad. You’ll deal with those moments differently than if you’re missing your dog or that amazing pizza place that has mac and cheese pizza (Yes, its real and amazing!) Give yourself grace to deal with these struggles but also keep in mind that locals may also experience culture shock. You may be in university in a urban area and they are from a remote rural village and now they are adjusting to university life. Talk about it and never struggle alone.
Amid the stress of preparing to depart for a long stay in an unfamiliar country, it’s easy to get caught up in a host of trivial, packing-related questions like, “Which shade of denim is more versatile?” Meanwhile, you overlook the importance of mentally preparing yourself for the upcoming transition. The adjustment process, and in particular that associated with “culture shock”, is often the most overwhelming experience associated with life abroad, and, ironically, the one that people are often least prepared for.
Knowing what emotions to expect, and even when to expect them, can help you tremendously in your attempts to at least reasonably assimilate into the new, unfamiliar culture. For many, the first few months are comparable to the cliché rollercoaster analogy – full of high highs and low lows. It’s tricky. We all relish the high highs, but some of those low lows come creeping out of nowhere and…
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