Culture shock is common amongst people who travel abroad. Little experience with other cultures leaves you overwhelmed when you throw yourself into a new one. It is not just the colors, architecture, and new areas, either. It is how everyone acts. What one might consider courteous and caring, another might consider rude. These differing views clash, leaving you in that state of shock. Dealing with this and overcoming it is possible. There are some basic ways to overcome culture shock when travelling abroad without having to force yourself to go home early.
Understand the Culture
Make an effort to understand the local culture. Learn more about social expectations and the way everyone acts. Learn how the society and people in your new environment live. With the internet, you can learn this with little difficulty. Your main goal should be to learn how to behave, how to hold yourself and develop an understanding of acceptable body language.
Keep your mind open as you learn. Some things about other cultures may confuse you, and you may not like the general opinions or actions that other cultures view as normal. Understand that they are different from yours. No culture is superior or inferior; they are merely different.
Learn the Language
You should, at the very least, learn the basics of the language. Culture shock is less likely to happen when you can communicate, ask questions, and have some self-reliance. While learning the language, you may even learn a bit more about the culture. Some languages, like Japanese, will give you an idea of the societal hierarchy in the country because of the way individuals speak. The language shows that elders and top professionals in industries are given priority and the highest respect. Other languages can show you a piece of what their societies are like, too.
Spend time with Locals
Start speaking with people from the country you plan to visit. This can help with learning the culture and language, too. Meeting the people, getting to know them, and understanding that there are connections to people regardless of country is a powerful tool against culture shock. It can give you someone who will show you their culture in a way you can embrace and find comforting.
Overcoming culture shock is possible. With effort and time, you can learn more about the culture and the people. You can feel comfortable when abroad, no matter where you go.
Each month we travel to a different where culture shock is inevitable. To break down cultural barriers we offer language classes and the opportunity to integrate with local communities. Now you can you fearlessly travel the world and work remotely with Terminal 3.
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