Dealing with Culture Shock

Posted by djaspersen on Wednesday, May 28, 2014 Under: Top 5

The online Oxford Dictionary defines culture shock as disorientation experienced when suddenly subjected to an unfamiliar culture or way of life. It is common to experience culture shock when you are transplanted into a foreign setting. In fact, most international student programs, mission organizations, and multi-national corporations have handbooks describing stages, symptoms, and tips for addressing culture shock.

Today’s Top Five Friday gives you two for the price of one, plus a bonus!

Five Stages of Culture Shock:

  1. Honeymoon Stage—excitement of arrival, including a touch of idealism

  2. Distress Stage—culture & environment are no longer new, but confusing & somewhat isolating

  3. Re-integration Stage—refusal to accept differences while comparing to what is “normal”

  4. Autonomy Stage—accepting the differences and emerging through the confusion

  5. Independence Stage—you are yourself again! Including a realistic appreciation of your new culture

Top Five Signs of Culture Shock:

  1. Withdrawal & isolation

  2. Insomnia or sleeping too much

  3. Anger & irritation

  4. Longing for home, family & friends

  5. Stereotyping the host nationals

And the bonus:

There are dozens of lists of signs and symptoms of culture shock on the internet which likely would add up to over 100 unique signs of culture shock. The bonus is my favorite sign of culture shock, because I have seen it and find it quite amusing… an obsession with cleanliness.

Please think twice next time before you pull out that miniature bottle of anti-septic anti-bacterial hand wash after shaking the hand of a host national.

In : Top 5 

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