Culture Shock

Last week in class we discussed culture shock and the effect it can have on anyone (particularly students) traveling abroad. While in class we broke off into groups to discuss what culture shock is, how you can recognize someone affected by it, and how to ‘treat’ it. To say the least, it was an interesting discussion. The girls I talked to completely agreed with me, our generation seems to lack culture shock.

How can a whole generation lack culture shock, you may ask? Well, it’s not so much we lack it as we have the resources available to us to counteract the shock. The girls and I agreed with the availability of skype and the internet, it is hard to feel a world away from one’s family and friends. Now, I say this writing to you abroad in a country known for its technologically advanced society — keep in mind, being flung out into the middle of the desert such amenities will not be as ‘readily’ available. But, where I stand now I will venture to say I have yet to feel ‘culture’ shock.

This is definitely an old video and not the best, but an idea of what students must go through when they study abroad in the United States.

Talking to friends back home (who are studying abroad in the United States) and now being a study abroad student myself, I realize how difficult the transition from one culture to another can be. As well, I realize how much the States (especially my university) lack the proper facilities for international students. Now, I am attending a university more or less designed for the ease of international student transition, but some of our amenities here (such as the Cultural Exchange/Interaction program) should definitely be implemented at Miami.

Now, I want to go home and talk to international students, let them know I understand what they are going through. In one of my classes (I think this one) my teacher said that we should make friends with a Japanese student who has studied abroad before. They get it and can help explain their culture because they’ve seen it from the outside. I understand this now and wish to do the same to students studying abroad in my university.


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