We help teachers secure the opportunity of their dreams in exciting and exotic places such as China or the UAE. During the process, we witness the teacher’s journey embarking on this new adventure and a lot of times, for first time travelers, the cultural shock is something they have never experienced before.

So how does culture shock happen? During the initial stage, often described as the "honeymoon," everything you see and do in the country you are visiting is exciting and wonderful. But in the second stage, known as "culture shock," you can feel a sense of dislocation and general unease. Culture shock can manifest in different ways for different people but you might feel angry, annoyed and frustrated; you withdraw and want to spend excessive amounts of time alone or only with people from your home country; You might feel fatigued and bored, then develop some negative feelings towards the host country.

This cultural shock period is absolutely normal and it is part of the adjustment period. You will eventually get to the third and final "adjustment" stage where you start to accept your new surroundings by following some of the coping strategies below:

  1. Make new friends and get to know your new colleagues. Keep in mind that they are all probably feeling the same way and you are not alone.
  2. Get involved in the new culture by taking some local cooking classes, exploring local attractions and communities.
  3. Recognize that the adjustment period is real and it does exist. By acknowledging that you are feeling cultural shock helps you move on.
  4. Keep in touch with family and friends back home. With technology nowadays it will feel like they are in the next room!

Have you ever felt culture shock and how did you handle it?

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Culture shock is quite common for any newbie into a foreign country. It has to be get rid off so that people can live a happier life enjoying in the host country.



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