To understand what culture shock means, we
have to understand the meaning of culture. The meaning and definition of
culture is very diverse and has changed and developed over time. But in this
context, we can understand culture as an orientation for what is typical of a
nation or society and what they share together. It influences thinking, values
and so the way people act in different nations. We can see landscape, food and
clothing style as part of the culture, but as well mentality and behavior.
Every Country has its own culture and the differences can cause a culture
To experience a culture shock while
staying in another country is not unusual and generally assumes a longer but
temporary stay in the foreign culture. We undergo a mostly inevitable process
of adaption as we enter into a different culture. It is a mental reaction to
the unknown and the habituation to different behaviors and customs. We
experience feelings of insecurity, indisposing and the feeling of being a
stranger. Also, the following understanding and feeling of being at home. But
that is not happening suddenly. There are different phases, which can have very
different periods of time. Therefore, it is not easy to reasonably recognize a
culture shock. Not everyone experiences a culture shock. It is not possible to
measure beforehand how long each phase lasts and it doesn´t have to go through
all phases. Depending on attitude, experience, background and knowledge there
may be no conflicts at all. But it also could be that some phases are
experienced more strongly and some weaker. The culture shock can refer to the
living space, eating habits or on the way of working.
The aim of this paper is to show what the different
stages of culture shock are and how it can be alleviated among international
students. First, I am going through the different stages.
Afterwards I am looking for solutions how to relieve the culture shock and show
some examples for it. And in the end, I am proving my hypothesis that you can
get another culture shock, when you are getting back home.