Study Abroad Tip Of The Week: Lean into culture shock without resisting

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ID-10037127Lean into culture shock without resisting.

Some level of culture shock on Study Abroad is inevitable. You’re in a completely new place surrounded by different people and customs than what you’re used to back home. It can be uncomfortable, but the more you resist the negative feelings the more difficult it becomes.

Many guides on culture shock essentially say to keep busy, do things you enjoy, and with time it’ll pass. Sure, it may pass, but if you don’t stay with the stressful feelings you might overstep some of the most impactful parts of Study Abroad.

Start to look at what you’re resisting in your host culture. Where do you judge what’s going on around you? What stories are you making up about the people and place? James Michener wrote, “If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home.”

Try to just lean into the experience and live it fully instead of self-medicating by keeping busy. Culture “shock” then becomes an opportunity for learning, understanding, and personal growth.

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1 Response

  1. August 9, 2015

    […] you’re willing to lean into the discomfort, and resist the urge to recreate the life you lead back home, you make room for new people, […]

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