Facing a culture shock is not something which is a sudden experience for most of the students who are going for the first time to study abroad. It could be designated as a process of learning in which at first there is some discomfort, but as the time passes, everything becomes settled. Just like you will bring your personal items in your suitcase to other countries, you will also bring a cultural baggage of invisible items with you. All this is very natural and considered as a source of personal growth and insight for you!
The more you learn about your host country, the easier it will be for you to anticipate the future events which can come into your life while you are studying abroad. Here are some tips which can help you to develop strategies to adapt successfully to life in other countries.
- Maintaining new relationships: Try to make new friends with people while you are moving around in the new country and keep in touch with them on a regular basis. This will make them feel that you care about them. It does not mean that you have to follow a strict schedule of meeting these people, but just try to establish a form of realistic communication with them.
- Find a library: Once you have settled yourself, try to search a library in the town which contains not only books but also newspapers from your host town. Find out the cable network, which delivers news about the country or region and join some internet newsgroups to remain updated about the information around you.
- Meet the personnel at the international student office: You might be trying hard to adjust to the new environment, but there are things which can create confusion around you. For example, the traffic pattern may not be suitable or the buildings appear strange to you or people in the town walk and talk differently than you have expected. If you are having these minor problems, then it is better to visit the international student office and take guidance from them on such matters.
- Make some major changes in your life: While studying abroad, it is better to make huge changes in your life schedule. Most of the students have to make big alterations in their daily schedules for leading a successful life in a new place. So, do not get afraid of it.
- Try to find out similarities: At first, the situation is quite confusing for you. The place, the sights and sounds and the activities going on in the new place are not familiar to you. There is so much to learn and absorb from the new place. Try to learn the similar things first and the patterns which seem unusual to you. There are many opportunities which you will find in the community as curious and interesting and with proper planning, they can give you rewarding experiences. Your cultural comfort level can vary at times as you travel to and fro from the home country.
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