How Do You Handle Culture Shock?


Quick Answer

Making friends with someone from a new culture, finding someone in the foreign country from your own culture and finding ways to do familiar activities all help to reduce culture shock. Signs of culture shock include an over-concern for health, feeling lost and confused, and insomnia or sleeping too much.

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Making friends who are from a foreign culture reduces stress as they understand things that seem confusing and overwhelming when you're adjusting to a new culture. These friends can help you learn the language and get around, and they can answer questions about customs that seem normal to the people of the culture.

Finding people from your own culture can reduce the awkwardness of learning a new system alone. The adjustment period is easier when you share it with like-minded companions who understand the frustrations of adapting to a new culture and have been through the process personally.

Eating or preparing favorite foods, watching favorite movies and finding places that sell items from home helps to reduce homesickness. Learn to substitute different activities and items for those that are not available; stream TV series on a computer instead of tuning in every week on cable, or purchase items that resemble those sold in your home country.

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