Five stages of cultural adaptation:
1. Honeymoon phase. Excitement and fascination with the new culture.
2. Crisis period (culture shock). Excitement turns to disappointment and problems start to be overwhelming and irritating.
3. Adjustment phase. Learn to accept the new culture and to change their negative attitude to a positive one.
4. Acceptance and Adaptation phase. Feel at home and become involved in activities and may enjoy some of that countries customs.
5. Reentry shock. Experienced upon returning to the home country and the return may follow with initial euphoria, crisis or disenchantment.
How to cope with cultural stress:
Understand the stages of cultural adjustment;
Analyze your situations and reactions;
Be flexible and tolerate ambiguity;
Expect things to be different;
Don’t try to understand everything immediately;
Identify what helps you manage stress;
Identify ways of thinking positively;
Give yourself permission to fail.
School and community supports:
Program staff, academic advisers and school counselors can offer help.
Make sure to keep in contact with family and friends in the your own country.
Don’t isolate yourself! Seek out friends and groups that share your interests and can facilitate your participation in social circles.
Manage academic stress:
Eat in a healthy way and get plenty of rest.
Identify the tasks that are difficult and make plans to manage them.
Time management skills: first set realistic deadlines & goals, write them down and then cross them out, as you accomplish each.
For relaxation, find safe and fun ways to exercise on a regular basis.
When you’re having doubts or uncertainties, make sure talking to people who have been where you are.