Studying overseas is a phenomenal journey that also comes with many great challenges! And one such challenge is dealing with culture shock: a feeling of utter confusion, uncertainty, and anxiety experienced by international students when moving to a new country and facing unfamiliar environments, people, customs, etc.
While culture shock gradually disappears with time, here are six effective tips that can help you overcome it sooner so that you can adjust to your new life better and your focus remains intact on your studies.
Research About Your Host Country Before You Reach
It is crucial that you thoroughly research your host country before you arrive. It helps you gain insights into what you can expect from your new country and prepare yourself for it accordingly.
Knowing about certain things beforehand helps you be ready mentally, which in turn can lessen the effect of culture shock. So hunt the internet for the essential details about your host country, such as its weather, political and economic environment, trends, food, culture, people, etc. You can also join various online student groups and forums.
Choose to Stay in a Shared Accommodation
It is your choice to live alone, but if you want to get past culture shock, it is advisable to stay with a roommate. Sharing a room or an apartment with a roommate is cheaper and provides you with the company of a friend. Amidst the frenzy of settling into a new environment, you might have to go through a series of overwhelming emotions. And to remain at peace, there could not be a better way to talk about your feelings to a friend (your roommate)!
You have many options for choosing suitable shared accommodation, such as a university dorm or private accommodation, such as student housing in Coventry. Furthermore, if you prefer the comfort of a family and want to experience the culture of your host country closely, you can choose to reside with a local family.
Be Optimistic and Open-Minded
We understand it isn't easy to adapt to a culture entirely or partly different from yours. But you can always try your best to learn and accept it. Remember, you are not alone! Like you, many international students will go through the same roller coaster ride.
Moreover, you need to be open-minded and consistently put efforts to embrace the local culture. And finally, stay optimistic always. Keep reminding yourself of all the fantastic things that happen to you in your new home. You can even maintain a journal or start a blog and write about your unique experiences, learning and adventures so that once you go back to your home country, you will have plenty of things to talk about to your family and friends!
Make Friends with the Locals
One of the effective ways to overcome culture shock is to be friends with the natives. We understand it is tempting to only socialise with the people of your home country, but remember, this will only make you more homesick and do nothing to help eliminate the culture shock.
So step outside of your student accommodation in Loughborough, and strike up a conversation with your neighbours and university peers. Ask them about the nearby markets, eateries, tourist spots, local transport system, etc. You can even go out with them or invite them to your place for dinner. It will not only help you to understand the local culture and customs but also help build new friendships.
Stay Active with a Busy Schedule
Dealing with culture shock can be stressful, but it worsens if you sit idle and let your intense thoughts consume you. So get outside of your University of Southampton accommodation and get involved in a plethora of fun activities.
Staying busy will hardly give you any time to dwell on negative emotions like sadness or homesickness. So join a society or a club at your uni, pursue a new hobby that is not possible back home, attend cultural and networking events, work a part-time job, and create a good self-care routine!
Bonus tip: Remember, the more you interact with others, the better you will connect with people and expand your professional network.
Seek professional Aid (If Required)
Do not hesitate or feel shy to approach your professors, advisors, counsellors, especially when you are in dire need of help. Most universities have well-trained professionals to help international students adjust to a new environment or provide assistance with any issue they are struggling with. Remember, tackling problems alone can cause more damage to your mental health. So before it gets too late, reach out for help!
Do you require help in locating the ideal student accommodation?
amber is a student accommodation booking platform that provides reasonable options for booking a suitable home worldwide. We are regularly upgraded with the COVID-19 policies and would be happy to help you search for your perfect abode! Tune in to our social media handles like Facebook and Instagram for special offers and more updates!
Author: Harshita Anand is a postgraduate in English Journalism and a graduate in Hotel Management. She has worked in many different industries and with people from all walks of life. Her rich experience encouraged her to learn new things every day and write passionately about them!