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30th Nov 2022
Afia Azmi

Culturally adapting to new country

“Culture Shock” is the biggest challenge that a student encounters when you travel to a new country. You have left all that you know behind. Your family, your friends, your home, and everything that you are familiar with And you have arrived in a new place, a new city, new university, new friends, new classmates, new environment, new food, new climate, new everything. The smallest things can become a challenge. Where do you go to buy something has to be reprogrammed. The language is similar yet different. Culture Shock is a common phenomenon that happens to all of us. It happens even within your own country or when you go into a new environment. It can be a new job, new location, or new university.

Don’t worry!

Millions have done it before you and millions will do it after you. This is a pathway you have chosen and you will come out ahead. The main thing to keep in mind is to always observe all that is around you and to learn from what you see or hear. As the outsider you have to make an effort and you will find that the communities that you are in, will respond accordingly and invite you in. Try to engage. Ask questions. Become involved. It takes time to get over culture shock, but being prepared will make the transition easier. There is no short cut out of it. For each person the time frame is different.

It begins with a lot of excitement and enthusiasm. This is the high! After some time, a few weeks usually, you will notice symptoms of being down and depressed because you are far away from all that is near and dear to you. This happens because the novelty of the newness has worn off and routine has set in. Soo after this you will begin to make the adjustments needed in your life to become part of the environment. Once tis happens, the levels of enthusiasm and excitement will return but in a different context and you will start feeling that you are now becoming a part of the local fabric.

After that, it is all up to you to make the most and the best of your choices. And once you take it in stride, you will enjoy the life changing decision you have made!

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