What is culture shock and how to deal with this

by newintstudents

As part of our Health and Human development series

A diagram explaining what cultural shock is: Picture courtesy of Google Images

Image courtesy of Google Images

Culture shock is defined as being homesick when you are away from your comforts IE. family and friends back home.  A lot of students coming from another country will feel the same way as you. This is unpleasant but it can have some positive effects on you such as learning to live in a new country and their customs. Employers will lock favorably on this if they do decide to hire international students.

It has four stages:
1) Excitement of living away from home- this is the time when you first arrive in a new place. You want to explore it

2) The adjustment phase- getting used to living in the new place. You might find that living in Melbourne is different and in some ways more costly than living at home. There are no parents here to buy everything for you. You also have to learn about the social norms here as well as pass your courses.

3) The homesickness- missing the connections back home. You might feel lonely, depressed in some cases, moody. For some people it is minor and for some others it is major. But if it is getting in the way of study you should visit your local counselor or call Lifeline.

4) The readjustment phase when you go back home as things do change at home. You may not want to leave Australia and when you do leave you might miss your Australian friends and the friends you made at uni

Ways in dealing with this.
* Make friends outside of your culture
* Embrace the new country
* Join a club- RMIT has plenty but not as much as Melbourne Uni
* Explore the great city- with so many events for free why not explore.
 * Keep up to date with the things going on back home. There are a lot of free magazines all around the city for you to take. Just keep your eyes open