Culture shock!

I have met lots of new international students around the university this week: some happy, some lost, some confused, some anxious and many in shock!  ‘Culture shock’ is a well documented experience for people moving to a new country and affects most international students at some time or other. Even if you feel great now (as if you were just married and enjoying your ‘honeymoon’ ) in a few weeks you might find it harder and start to feel less positive about your surroundings. One thing you can do to help yourself is to read about the phenomenon of culture shock: if you understand how this syndrome usually plays out then this can help you come to terms with it. It is usual to feel excited and happy at first (the honeymoon period) before going through a period when you feel down because you don’t have your family and friends and usual support mechanisms around you. After that you will start to recover. The important thing to understand is that if you feel bad it is a temporary problem!

The UK Council for International Student Affairs is an excellent organisation working to support international students in the UK and has a great website. Give yourself some reading practice by reading their information about culture shock here.

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