Important Factors For Cultural Adjustment


Open Mindedness... The ability to keep one's opinions flexible and open to change.
Sense of Humor... A sense of humor is important because in another culture there are many opportunities to get embarrassed, offended, annoyed or make mistakes. The ability to laugh off things will help guard against despair.
Ability to Cope with Failure... The ability to tolerate failure is critical because everyone makes mistakes especially in a new environment, it is important to put mistakes into perspective, learn from them.
Communicativeness... The ability and willingness to communicate one's feelings and thoughts to others, verbally or non-verbally, has been suggested as an important skill for successful intercultural communication.
Flexibility and Adaptability... The ability to respond to or tolerate the ambiguity of new situations is very important to intercultural success. Keeping options open and judgmental behavior to a minimum describes an adaptable or flexible person.
Curiosity... Curiosity is the demonstrated desire to know about other people, places, ideas, etc. This skill or personality trait is important because travelers need to learn many things of a foreign culture in order to understand it and adapt to the new environment.
Positive and Realistic Expectations... Keep it real, don't have exaggerated expectations about a place or a situation.Try to be positive in what you expect from people.
Tolerance for Differences and Ambiguities... Understanding for different custom, beliefs, ideals or practices is important to successfully adjust in a different culture
Positive Regard for Others... The ability to express warmth, empathy, respect, and positive regard for other persons helps build intercultural relations, social networks and interpersonal relationships
A Strong Sense of Self... Try to be confident and have trust in yourself[1]

It is important enter a new culture with a sense of trust, openness and acceptance. Being able to observe, listen and inquire can help overcome frustration, stress and confusion. Reacting to these symptoms with withdraw, criticism and rejection can send an individual on a loop of isolation and frustration
It is important enter a new culture with a sense of trust, openness and acceptance. Being able to observe, listen and inquire can help overcome frustration, stress and confusion. Reacting to these symptoms with withdraw, criticism and rejection can send an individual on a loop of isolation and frustration

Are you prepared? Take the test...

Untitled.png
From Appalachian State University Pre-departure Handbook 2010


How to Prepare for Cultural Differences

Read as much as possible about your destination and the host culture in order to gain some perspective. Sources might include guidebooks, international newspapers, magazines, novels, plays, poetry, and political and economic analysis. Talk with international students and veteran travelers who have been where you want to go.[2]

Solutions for Culture Shock

Even though some people may not be able to eliminate culture shock, there are ways to ease the stress. Some of these activities are listed below:
  1. Keep Active. By getting out of your room or outside of your apartment, you are able to experience first-hand what locals are doing. If you visit public places, such as a shopping mall or sporting events, you will be able to watch and learn how local customs are practiced.
  2. Make Local Friends. By having friends you can talk to, you are able to ask them questions about what you do not understand.
  3. Read. Try to gain more knowledge of the culture you are being introduced to. Accessing the Internet is of no cost to you if used on campus.
  4. Exercise. By finding an activity that you can enjoy, you will be able to reduce stress and depression.
  5. Community Activities. Talk with your host family, Resident Assistant, or other students about community activities, religious services, or volunteer opportunities to help you become a member of the community while you are abroad.
  6. Work on Your Foreign Language. This is an extremely important concept. It is much easier to understand a culture when you can understand the language being used. Ask about any slang terms that you do not understand.
  7. Introduce Yourself to Other International Students. Other international students may be experiencing the same problems that you are. By talking to them, you may be able to find out ways they are coping with problems.
  8. BE PATIENT. Many international students experience culture shock in some way while they are here. Just recognize the problem and give yourself time to get over it. If you need to, keep reminding yourself that this is not permanent.[3]




References


  1. ^ http://www.worldwide.edu/travel_planner/culture_adjusting.html
  2. ^ University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Study Abroad Orientation Handbook 2009
  3. ^ http://www.uwec.edu/counsel/pubs/shock.htm