19 Aug 7 tips to overcome culture shock
If you are about to leave for a Gap Year abroad once you arrive in your new home you may experience the so-called “culture shock”, which is an initial sense of disorientation due to the impact of the new cultural and social environment in which you will find yourself living. for a shorter or longer period of time.
You may be disconcerted by the excessive kindness of people, by motorists who do not honk in traffic, by too much quiet around, by the arrangement of products in the supermarket, or by the difficulty of finding someone who can cook pasta al dente or carbonara without cooking cream!
But don’t worry there are 7 tricks to overcome culture shock unscathed!
Remember this is normal
All self-respecting travelers find themselves experiencing culture shock at the start of each new adventure, but that doesn’t mean there’s something wrong. It is part of the experience, indeed it will make your memories even more exciting. It also wouldn’t be an adventure if you felt too comfortable.
Take a corner of your home with you
Leave space in the suitcase to bring something that makes you feel at home even in your new home, be it a poster, a photograph, a soft toy, etc. … Having something that reminds you of home with you will positively influence your mood, especially in moments in which you might be seized by a bit of nostalgia.
Make the most of this opportunity to discover the new host country. At least during the first period, commit to visiting a new place every day, for example just taking a different route back home. And take advantage of the weekends to take some trips out of town.
Have an open mind
The best way to limit the effect of culture shock is to have an open mind. Try foods you might never find at home, or new activities, and never turn down an invitation. In this way, you will not only build bonds of friendship with your new adventure companions but you will do things that you will never again be able to do. This is also a great exercise to learn more about other cultures and yourself.
Set new goals
Learn to cook a dish of the local cuisine, learn all the words of a folk song or the steps of traditional dance. Promise yourself to learn at least one thing related to the culture of your new host country, in this way you will make the memories of this experience indelible.
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Give yourself time
Remember that you are leaving to take an English course abroad, so don’t think you have to be perfectly fluent from day one. There will be things you won’t understand, or mistakes you will make, but you don’t have to get down for that. Remember that mistakes help to learn, that you have already learned so many things and will still learn many more.
Make friends with locals and non-locals
Making friends with people in the same situation as you, such as your fellow English classmates, will help make you feel less isolated. Also, they will be able to better understand what you are feeling because they are in the same situation as you. Commit to making friends with local people as well, this will help you learn more about their culture and enrich your experience.
You may also like to read, 5 tips for planning your cultural trip to Europe