Culture Shock

Homesickness and culture shock are difficult, but natural. You may find yourself missing family and friends, hating your new host culture, and wanting nothing more than to return home. Though difficult, these feelings are normal and will pass if you hang in there. Just remember that it will get better.

Here are a few antidotes for culture shock:

1. Know as much as possible about your destination before departure.

2. Consciously look for logical reasons behind everything in the host culture which seem strange, difficult, confusing, or threatening. Take every aspect of your experience and look at it from the perspective of your hosts. Relax your grip on your own culture in the process.

3. Find someone from your host country who is sympathetic and understanding, and talk with that person about specific situa­tions and about your feelings related to them. Talking with Americans can be helpful, but only to a limited extent.

4. Above all, have faith: in yourself and in the experience.