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How to survive culture shock while studying abroad

Written by ESC Admin on 30 Apr 2021 Posted in Blog

Study abroad

We have all learned about how moving to a new country will lead to a shock of culture, but how can you resolve it? Exposure to a new world and community impacts everyone differently for the very first time. Some individuals tend to have mixed feelings about having left their comfort zone after the initial excitement of being in a new location and experiencing a new community.

In general, the majority of students studying abroad who move to countries such as France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Australia do not generally struggle with cultural shock as much. Yes, going abroad and separating yourself from the familiar is always difficult. But the most difficult part of adapting to life abroad in these countries is always understanding the language, finding out how to use the local transportation system, or mastering how to communicate well. On the other hand, in nations where the standard of living or culture is drastically different from what students are used to, those who choose uncommon places to study abroad may have a more difficult time getting through each stage of culture shock.
Russia, for instance, is a very different country from the United States or other Western nations, as you might imagine. It's one of the most interesting places to go abroad to study. Though breaking onto the global stage, it still provides a more unfamiliar experience in Western Europe than your regular curriculum. If you want to study abroad in a "off-the-beaten-path" country, make sure you prepare yourself mentally by listening to the following words of advice on how to deal with cultural shock.

Some tried and tested methods include:

Learning the native language is an easy, but extremely efficient way to adapt to any culture more quickly, saying goodbye to playing bad charades with locals! Two of the most popular ways to quickly learn the native language of a nation are by taking a foreign language class while abroad or living at home with a local family.
Even, for a moment, remember to forget about home and learn again to become curious. Avoid comparing something new to everything from back home that is identical. Begin to ask questions too. With open-ended questions, harass your teachers and friends to create a safe space for exchange and learning.
You will face some difficulties here and there, whether you are studying abroad in Russia or the UK, and it is important to know how to cope with cultural shock. While it is more difficult to adapt to the cultural shock that comes with studying in areas off the beaten path, it is certainly possible to resolve it with the right attitude and encouragement. If you approach your experience of studying abroad with a totally open mind, it will at least give you a new perspective, one that you will bring with you for the rest of your life.

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