Wednesday, May 20, 2015

10 Tips for Coping with Cultural Adjustment

• Understand symptoms and recognize signs of "culture shock".

• Realize that some degree of discomfort and stress is natural in a cross-cultural experience.

• Recognize that your reactions are often emotional and not always (or easily) subject to rational control.

• Gather information so at least the cultural differences will seem understandable, if not natural. Look below the surface for the meaning of practices different from your own.

• Look for the logical reasons behind host culture patterns. They fit the culture you are visiting - find out how and why!

• Relax your grip on your normal culture and try to cheerfully adapt to new rules and roles.

• Don't give in to the temptation to disparage what you do not like or understand.

• Identify a support network among host nationals, teachers, fellow students, etc. (Use it, but don't rely upon this network exclusively.)

• Understand that any cultural clash you may experience will likely be temporary.

• Give yourself "quiet time" and some private space - and don't be too tough on yourself when things are not going perfectly...or as you expected.

Stay curious!

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