Dealing with Culture Shock

Hi students,

I came across a short article that reminded me to check in with you awesome people. Read this short article from the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs to learn more about Adjusting to New Culture.

Culture shock is something that many people face when they are living in a new country. Culture shock is a feeling where a person can experience irritability, fatigue, and frustration when exposed to unfamiliar culture, way of life, or attitudes.  It is even harder if you are not fluent in the language. In the article linked above, we learn about the different phases of adjusting to a new culture – the honeymoon, the rejection, and the recovery phases. It is important to check in with yourself regularly to make sure that you are able to be successful in your time abroad.

The article does recommend some ways to diminish the feelings of culture shock. I wanted to highlight a few of them and add my own.

  • Do not isolate yourself.
    • This means that you should make sure to spend time with friends and classmates away from the classroom. Plan to go the movies with friends – some movie theaters in the area have days that are discounted for students with their campus IDs. Join some ELA events too.
  • Keep a journal or blog.
    • You can journal or record your experiences in a variety of ways. Write about your experiences, take tons of photos, or record a video of your experiences.
  • Take care of yourself and take a break.
    • Make sure you are eating well, exercising at the school gym, sleeping enough, and doing hobbies when out of class. Doing things that you enjoy or make you feel good helps with dealing with culture shock.
  • Ask questions.
    • Come talk to us at the ELA office if you have any questions or just need some recommendations on a good restaurant. We love supporting our students and want to make sure you are having the best time while you are in our program. No appointment necessary.


Don’t stress about if you have been struggling. Know that the office is here for you. If you are struggling with adjusting to life in the USA, your class, or are feeling overwhelmed, let us know.