What Is Culture Shock?

Moving abroad, to a new city and country is exciting! There are new coffee shops to explore, new streets and new views to enjoy. For many it is a lifelong dream to move away from their hometown and explore the world from a stranger’s perspective. However, there is obviously hard work to do. Settling into a new place and making it feel like home can be tough. Getting accustomed to the new noises and views can be difficult at first. Because the way of life that you once knew has all shifted. The way people interact or the way you are expected to interact is all different. There may be many practices that you are not used to; these may surprise you and leave you feeling homesick. This phenomenon is known as culture shock.

Getty images/ DigitalVision/Marko Geber

If you have moved away from home, chances are that you must have experienced culture shock. If you are currently in this situation and feel like you are alone in experiencing it, that is simply not true! Everyone who moves abroad experiences this. So, how can one make it easier for themselves to experience culture shock? Acceptance. Know that it is alright to feel uncomfortable. It is obvious and it is inevitable. Make your peace with the discomfort because if it was not for this discomfort it would mean that you have not truly made a change.

To get yourself settled in your new home, walk around your neighborhood. Get to know the streets, the views, the noises and the smells. Try out all the food and coffee places so you can get to know your favorite. Make small talk with the people living nearby, you never know who is going to grow to become your closest friend in this foreign place. Do not let culture shock weigh you down, it will surely be an experience to remember!