How To Deal with Culture Shock

Graphics and Words by Caitlin Chuah

What is culture shock

They say the grass is always greener on the other side. What they didn’t tell you is how different things can be when you are studying abroad in a whole new world. You will meet people twice your size, experience new weather like snow, see cars driving on the opposite side of the road and taste food that is totally different from back home.

All these experiences will come as a…*SHOCK* to you, a culture shock. But in this article, you will learn how to combat culture shock with these few steps…

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Do your research

Before leaving to a new country, you need to conduct some research. Learn about the lifestyle, food, language and people there, so that you can mentally prepare yourself. If you already know the place you will be living in, research the area, its local stores, entertainment, nightlife and anything else that might be of interest to you.

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Ask for advice

It’s always best to learn from someone who has experienced it themselves. If you know any family members or seniors who have been abroad, don’t be shy to ask them about their experience. They will most likely be able to impart some golden nuggets of wisdom and tips that will make your transition abroad much easier.

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Find a healthy distraction

If you’re finding it tough to get used to your life abroad, it is good to find some healthy distractions to relieve your stress. You could watch your favourite Netflix series, go for a night out with friends, cook a meal from home or even just give a call to your family back home.

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Make friends with the locals

Try your best to immerse yourself with the local students. A good tip is to join clubs and societies at your university. By doing so, you will be able to meet with people who have similar interests as you, making it easier to develop friendships. Be adventurous and explore the city with your new friends, immerse yourself in the local culture and lifestyle.

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Find a support system

Lastly, you might need to find a support system to help you cope with your culture shock. Whether it’s the university counsellor, other international students, or even your family back home, it is good to interact with people who can relate to you and support you through this new chapter of your life.

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If you have any questions regarding your higher education, feel free to contact us. We at JM are more than delighted to help you through the process.

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