Take the first step and start conversations with new people. Push yourself to start conversations with people. Celebrate your home by talking about your culture and take the time to learn about their cultures, too. Not only are you adjusting to a new country, but you are also learning how to handle a different academic system. Understanding expectations will reduce your anxiety about school work. Oftentimes, homesickness affects first-generation students specifically.
So sorry to hear that you struggled with sever homesickness – mental health really can have an affect on your physical state as you found with food. These are fantastic tips and strategies for dealing with it, and I’m so glad to hear that your took a turn for the better. I think having a support network and people to lean on is one of the biggest things, as new friends allow you to feel comfortable in your new home. Perhaps you have recently travelled to a foreign country, started college, served on a mission trip, or started a new job abroad.
- Much of what we experienced resembles the stages of expat relocation adjustment.
- Culture shock is defined as experiencing confusion or anxiety when exposed to a new culture, usually without proper preparation.
- For that reason, the “shock” is deceptively gradual.
- Try to incorporate your new perspective into your old home — find cultural outlets that you hadn’t tried out before, learn a new hobby or take a day to be a tourist in your own town.
There will be lots of people who want to help you, and universities are very much used to helping people who are feeling homesick or sad. Your university might be able to offer to buddy you up with someone, or have a free counselling service you can take advantage of. The offerings of societies and activities at universities are wide and varied. You might choose to join a sports team, a faith based society, or a hobby society. Your university might even have a society specifically for international students, who will all have experienced dating chinese woman some level of culture shock. Establishing a routine can really help you to cope with your feelings of culture shock.
The first step in addressing culture shock
Things look great from a distance that might not be as wonderful if you were there. Your friends are likely looking at your social media too and marveling at your great adventure.
So I was like, I need to be somewhere familiar to process the rest of this. And I scraped up all of my coins literally and booked a ticket home at the very last minute so you can imagine how much money I paid. And what are the things that my therapist reminded me of was that you know, sometimes relationships fizzle out. You know, as I’m in my first year, I did not know what those were.
Knowledge-based strategies for managing culture shock
Some students might experience homesickness within the first few days or weeks of being abroad, while others might not be hit by homesickness until later on, or closer to the holidays. Holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, family events or even family illness or death can all cause you to feel homesick, or make you wish you were at home. Also, many students report increased feelings of homesickness during the winter months when darkness, rainy weather and the cold can lead to feelings of depression. Even though it may be challenging to think about your life back home, it’s crucial not to neglect your relationships with your family and friends.
So, join us to hear her everyday folks build connection in strange places and to discover how you can use their experiences to help you in your own journey of community creation. It’s an anxiety-inducing experience, but there’s a way to get yourself comfortable with it. If you’re an expat and a frequent traveler, you might be familiar with the term ‘Culture Shock’. Do not try to find a « little America » abroad.
After establishing a greater familiarity with your new city and a comforting routine with your new home, the natural next step is staying in touch with your roots. The time difference between Italy and the US can make schedules differ greatly, but doing a few simple actions can still maintain meaningful relationships. I have found that setting a certain day to do essential chores such as grocery shopping, laundry, and cleaning has helped my daily life feel more organized and structured. When I was first getting settled, it was overwhelming to remember what I needed to do and when to prioritize my tasks. Now, I am able to wake up and know the things I could do that day to make my week flow more smoothly. Self-care is often emphasized among students, and doing that during a study abroad experience is no exception. It can sound cliche to “focus on self-care,” but it truly works.
Luckily, technology makes it easy to keep in touch with your new friends via email, Skype, Facebook, etc. It may help to seek out and befriend people at home who are from your host country. Although the timing of each person’s adjustment process can be different, there are specific phases that most people go through before they adjust to their new environment. Culture shock can be quite stressful and lead to anxiety. However, it’s possible to overcome it and grow as a result.
Some begin to see these differences as “defects” in the host culture. Others, criticized for inappropriate actions, respond by “blaming the hosts,” thereby increasing their own alienation and justifying their attitudes. This makes it even more difficult for them to evaluate their own behavior or objectively observe the host culture. Traveling internationally doesn’t guarantee peace of mind, however. This is a tough one because let’s be honest, everyone procrastinates at one point or another when it comes to homework.
Even small things like washing my face or washing dishes were put off. Instead, we canceled our plans and I spent the day messaging back and forth with our remote host in the UK. And looking for new Airbnb’s in case the power didn’t get turned on. However, we didn’t arrive in SE Asia until the end of October 2019. So we basically reached that 3-month mark on a bit of a delay because we spent so much of our summer visiting friends and family.
John, who is currently studying abroad in London, is familiar with leaving the country for extended periods of time. Having already studied in Amsterdam and heading to Japan in just two weeks, her passion for travel is evident, but the lingering feelings of homesickness never seem to fully go away. Even after being in Amsterdam for about four months, John went through bouts of depression for two weeks after she arrived in London. Frustration may be the most difficult stage of culture shock and is probably familiar to anyone who has lived abroad or who travels frequently. At this stage, the fatigue of not understanding gestures, signs and the language sets in and miscommunications may be happening frequently. Small things — losing keys, missing the bus or not being able easily order food in a restaurant — may trigger frustration. And while frustration comes and goes, it’s a natural reaction for people spending extended time in new countries.