How to Fit Into Another Culture While Studying Abroad

Studies in another country can be difficult, especially due to the great culture shock. If you decide to go to study in a country that has a very different culture from yours, the shock will be even greater. Read how to fit into another culture, and how to keep the shock of moving as small as possible.

Studies are a big part of young people’s lives. Those in their studies learn how to do the job they love. At studies, they meet friends, future colleagues, or future partners. In studies, we get not only knowledge from books, but also social knowledge that we will need very much in the future.

Cultural adjustment is a completely normal phenomenon among students studying in another country. This customization can be very interesting and interesting, but also a lot of challenges and problems.

Values, social norms and traditions are different in many European countries. The culture shock is greater if you go to study outside of Europe, because then the differences only grow.

Common reactions to culture shock are:

  • A great sense of nostalgia for his country
  • Avoiding socializing
  • Sleep problems
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Expressed nervousness and exhaustion

Learn how these reactions are reduced to a minimum, and to study abroad go in the best possible atmosphere.

1 Every culture is a constructed, not an innate phenomenon

We often understand culture as something given, as something that cannot be changed. That is why we go to other countries with norms that we have not re-examined, but we think that “things should be like that”.

When we see that another nation has a different tradition, and that it values ​​something that we do not value, then we realize that we have understood our culture as normal, while everyone else as less valuable.

Cultural norms are often difficult to recognize, because we learn many things when we are young, so we do not question such behavior. The culture shock will be less if you realize before the trip that your culture is not better than other cultures. The cultures of small nations and African tribes have exactly the same value as your, or American culture.

Culture shock is a completely normal occurrence. You have a feeling of confusion, you are under stress, you are completely disoriented, and you start crying for no reason. These are all symptoms of culture shock, and there is no need to panic.

All you need to do is open up, communicate with people, and ask them to instruct you in the most important traditions and customs, so that you would not offend anyone.

There will certainly be parts of the new culture that you don’t like, or that you don’t agree with, but that doesn’t mean that culture is worse than yours. You can ignore everything you don’t like, but keep in mind that this culture has existed for centuries, and that all its parts function within the system.

2 Be open, without fear or obstacles

None of you expect to adapt by rejecting your culture, and accepting a new one. You are not asked to change your values, but to be open and tolerant. Try to maintain curiosity and curiosity, because that way you will be free, and you will learn a lot.

3 Observe and learn

In order to make as few “mistakes” as possible, try to observe as much as possible. By observing, you will get acquainted with the norms and standards of everyday behavior. Pay attention to everything, both words and body language.

It is very important to know what is decent and what is not, in that culture. When you look at everything, you will have a complete picture of a given culture, and you will know what kind of behavior is expected of you.

Ask questions and show interest in another culture.
Feel free to ask questions and ask for help. Whatever culture you go to, they know that you have not grown up in their value system, and that you are not coping the best. If you are not sure that you have understood some values, or norms promoted by a certain culture, ask someone to explain to you.

By talking, you will become closer to people, and cultural boundaries will weaken, because all people are basically similar. Cultures will always be different, but the characteristic of all people is that they are social beings, and have a sense of solidarity and togetherness.

4 Feelings of anxiety are normal

If you feel anxious, it is completely normal when you adjust to another environment. It is only important that you do not panic in addition, because that is how the anxiety will pass the fastest.

You certainly can’t feel in a good mood all the time, but you will also have periods of depression, nervousness and frustration. Then you need to realize that these feelings are temporary, and that they will change from situation to situation.

5 Be patient – get to know the culture gradually

Don’t try to understand all the cultural differences at once. Invest time, effort and analyze phenomena in another culture. That way, you will best understand why someone is behaving in a certain way.

Don’t rush to see as much as possible. You will be overwhelmed by mixed feelings, so nervousness and anxiety will be more pronounced later. Adjust slowly and gradually.

Studying abroad is a phenomenal opportunity, because with its help we understand how relative culture is. By getting to know other cultures, we realize that we have understood many things as normal and innate, and they are actually culturally made.

When the adjustment period is over, read what are the best ways to earn money during your studies, because more and more students are working and studying at the same time.

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