Culture shock is the reaction when people move from familiar places to unfamiliar places, especially for international students who study aboard for couple years. On the one hand, language barrier and culture diversity are the primary impacts (International Students and Cultural Shock). A significant number of international students can’t find their feet in foreign countries because of distinct types of languages, cultures, education systems, food, values, and so on (Ruiz).
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Sense of belonging is important during this time. On the other hand, the difficulties of having relationships with classmates, new friends, professors, and other strangers hurt their feelings as well. It sometimes takes time for them from another country to adapt. Sometimes, they feel culture shock even more when they use improper or wrong words accidently and don’t know how to current them. For example, when I came to the United States for the first time, I didn’t know the meaning of what’s up. There is no such expression in my textbook. What’s more, I study British English in China for years. I don’t know it does not make sense if I say go to the toilet instead of saying go to the restroom. Culture shock needs time to fix for everyone.
Culture Shock is a period of time. The whole adjustment process has four stages: Initial Euphoria/Excitement, Irritation/Hostility, Gradual Adjustment, Humor, and Perspective, Adaptation and Biculturalism (Princeteon.edu). First stage is a happy stage. People are so excited about new environment, food, plants, smells, and etc. They only see the surface of this new culture instead of digging in. They are more than confidence to think that everything is under control and changing is not necessary. Second, this stage is the conflict with cultural adjustment. People start to realize the culture gap between the new and home culture. Every minor emotion was amplified with negative attitude. People will feel homesick and helpless. For example, Chinese voltage is twice than America’s. Chinese students most likely cannot use same adaptor here. If this situation happens, you might look for Americans friends. However, lacking confidence in English speaking ability can result in failure of conversations. People cannot ask for help on time. Finally, people may think America is an unfriendly country. Americans are mean and harsh. Next stage is the adaptive process. After suffering an unpleasant experience, people are motived to learn new culture. People use the ability to adapt the demands and circumstances. For example, people will make new friends, have some entertainment with them, and even make great progress on academic. Next stage is the last one. At this time, people see new culture as their old friend. Actually, the new culture has good effects on people now. (Vicki).
Our group designed a survey to find out the relationship between culture shock with different variables. Our survey was designed to closely replicate another survey by another survey that we read. It has too much limitations: no enough samples, only male, only in Canada, and there is no evidence shows that directly relationship between culture shock and numbers of family members (Chapdelaine et al., 167-184). In addition, our group improved the survey questions and participants. In our new survey, we invite females, and there is no limit in countries. However, we have only 22 participants, 11 are males, 11 are females. They come from 4countries, such as China, Korea, India, and Vietnam compared to the survey of the journal due to shortage of time. This new survey can show what the variables can cause culture shock and how to overcome culture shock.
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