Culture Shock: New Community
Entering a new university in a new country for me came with several expectations and anticipations of differences. As we took part in various class activities, and we noted down our experiences and feelings on the board, culture shock was the most common experience that students faced while moving to a new university. Moving into a new cultural environment does bring in several fears or discomfort and it takes time for each of us to settle in and accept the cultural differences. Moving into a new cultural environment brings in personal disorientation due to moving from one social environment to other. Settling in a foreign environment requires understanding the foreign culture, which is not easy and it is lack of understanding or complete information about another culture which results in culture shock (Macionis, John, and Linda Gerber, 2010).
Language barrier is one of the major issues that I faced while settling in a new university. Lack of fluency in English resulted in me not being able to communicate well and participate in social groups and several activities. Another factor that kept making me uncomfortable while settling in the new university is home sickness. I missed home a lot as it was the very first time that I had moved out of my house to study. I missed my parents and siblings and found it difficult to adjust to the new environment at the university.
There is no way to completely avoid a culture shock. It is required that there be focus on minimizing culture shock and its effect which is possible only by understanding the differences in two cultures and anticipating what possible differences could arise in terms of behavior, addressing and communication, food and other habits. Anxiety is an inevitable part of cultural shock and it does bring in lot of nervousness and a feeling of being lost. So, it is better to be more aware about another culture and this can help an individual be more confident about one’s own ability to adjust to a new culture.
It is required that an individual anticipates culture shock or change and discomfort so that he is well prepared to deal with cultural changes and adjust to the new environment. This requires time and effort. It also needs the support of other people so that it becomes easier for one to get used to the new environment and overcome homesickness. Only then it would be possible for an individual to slowly start liking the new environment and carry out the required activities with ease. It is important to overcome anger, frustration and boredom in the new environment.
Apart from these, the toughest part for me was to get used to taking care of myself in terms of eating on time and focusing on positive thinking in spite of missing home. I found it difficult to be able to rely on myself for many things and so a group of friends were of great benefit in the initial times of me adjusting to the new culture in a university (Huff, Jennifer L., 2009).