Travelling to Another Country with Experience Another Culture

Culture shock is written by a man named Kalervo Oberg in 1954. Culture shock is when you go to another country an experience another culture. When I went to a local junior college right out of high school, I got to experience culture shock first hand. I wen to Paris for a week during spring break.

Me and five other students were chosen to go with two chaperones and an interpreter and go to the annual trip to Paris the school does every year. A couple of months before we went, out interpreter and our chaperones came in the evenings after our classes were over and we spent a couple of hours studying the culture of Paris and the French. We learned some of the basics of the French language and studied the history and culture of the French. Going to France was an eye opener for another world for us.

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When we got off our plane in Amsterdam and rode a train into Paris was awesome. Of course, we had just gotten off an international flight and our flight to Paris was delayed from bad weather in Paris. It was a culture shock for us. Even the hours of studying we did in the weeks before we went did not change out awesome if felt to be in Paris. That is something that will always be with us.

Paris was extradentary, the week we were there, we got to experience French culture first hand and interact with some of the people. We went to all of the touristy places and ate French food. On one of the days there after we learned the subway and the stops, we were able to go out for a couple of hours in groups and experience Paris by ourselves. I was awesome, and I hope to do it again.

The symptoms of culture shock are different with everyone but include; boredom, withdrawal, feeling isolated or helpless, sleeping a lot or tiring easily, irritation over delays and other minor frustrations, suffering from body pains and aches, longing to be back home, and unduly criticizing local customs or ways of doing things (SFU 2018). There are five symptoms of culture shock; There is the fist symptom, 1.) The honeymoon stage- you are happy, curious and excited about seeing new things. 2.) Irritability and Hostility- you start to get frustrated with the difference in cultures and the way the people do things differently. 3.) Gradual adjustment- after adjusting to the new culture and the place you’re at, you are starting to adjust to the new culture and are a lot happier. 4.) Adaptation of Biculturalism- by this time you are happy and enjoying being a new place and experiencing new things. You feel like you belong there. 5.) Re-entry Shock- you go home and realize how different it is. (SFU 2018).

When I went to Paris, I experienced some of these things, even though we had a few months to prepare ourselves to go into another culture, it was still different then how we thought it would be. Paris has a long rich history and they are proud people, everyone knows they don’t like the English speakers. We were told we weren’t aloud to go to certain areas of Paris because some of the people in the non-tourist are might not like us. But it was still awesome to experience a new culture.

In 2018, the world is at our fingertips, with tv and the internet available for most people in the United States, we are able to get information about different cultures. But that is not the same as going to another country and experiencing it fist hand. There are millions of students across the world who travel abroad and experience the new culture while still studying for their degree.

In the article International students from Melbourne describing their cross-cultural transitions experiences: Culture shock, social interaction, and friendship development written by Nish Belford. The writer talks about the cross-cultural experience and culture shock and social interaction that international students at a Melbourne university go through. Belford talks about how Australia is one of the most popular places for international students to go to. Belford also states that the International education helps the Australian economy in a big way, and also brings diversity to Australia, (Belford 2017).

Melbourne is a diverse city that brings in a lot of students from across the world. In 2012 there were 148,860 international students and has increased over the years. (Belford 2017). With it being easier to travel abroad, students have taken advantage of international education and cross-culture. When you get to travel abroad you get to meet new people that have come from all over the world. You get to experience their culture too by interacting with them.

The term culture shock first been conceptualize by Kalervo Oberg. With studying abroad, it makes international students experience ‘culture shock’ stated by (Pyvis & Chapman, 2005). The theories applied to the study of international students and their experience with ‘culture shock’ have been criticized because of the clinical orientations for the early models, (Hwang, Martirosyan, & Moore, 2016). Though it has changed recently, (Zhou et al., 2008). Zhou discusses the cultural learning, the stress coping models and the social identification theories. (Furnham & Bochner, 1986) states it is more contemporary and comprehensive in understanding the culture shock.

The results of the questions Belford had asked the international students in their culture shock had stated that they had experienced loneliness and self-motivation with living by themselves in another country. The culture distance was different for some cultures and the western host culture. The different beliefs and religions made it difficult for some students. (Belford 2017). One student Belford talked about was a person by the name Jules, Jules stated Korea has a different cultural background, she stated that she had not seen as many people overseas, so she tried to keep and open mind. Jules states that seeing people wearing their shoes on their beds bother her because that is something they don’t do in her culture. (Belford 2017).

Some other international students that Belford talks about are named, Man and Jeremy. Man had said that a few things had brought them culture shock, this person states that one of there housemates talks about having a step-mother and in India where this person is from, they don’t have that. Jeremy had stated that he has a Chinese background, in his culture they don’t stare at people when they talk to them, you don’t make eye contact. He said its different from what he is used too. (Belford 2017). Belford believes that cross- culture is important, with so many people studying abroad and traveling to different countries.

When I traveled to France I was only gone for a week and I loved it. I did go through the ‘culture shock’ but it was worth it. If I ever get the chance to travel abroad again, I would do it. Thankfully we have so many tools out there that can help us when traveling abroad. With the internet and language software out there, it can make it a little easier, especially if you are going to or from the Western and Eastern Culture. I think that the theory is somewhat accurate but today we have so many things that help us when we travel abroad.

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