It’s not uncommon for an international student to experience culture shock — defined by Merriam Webster as “a sense of confusion and uncertainty sometimes with feelings of anxiety that may affect people exposed to an alien culture or environment without adequate preparation.”
Some strategies for dealing with culture shock:
- Remind yourself that everything you’re feeling is perfectly normal. Chances are, some other international students are having similar feelings.
- Keep in touch with your friends and family back home via email, text, or telephone.
- Surround yourself with familiar items, such as photos or ornaments.
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet; try to find familiar food.
- Maintain contact with people from your country as well as American students and other international students.
- Look for activities that will put you in contact with other students who share your interests—Clubs, Club Sports, Intramurals, Greek Life, etc.
- Maintain your confidence in yourself; follow your ambitions and continue your plans for the future.
- Maintain your own habits, such as practicing your faith with other like-minded individuals, working out, or watching sports or the arts.
- Be open to new experiences! Try new things and step out of your comfort zone.
Want more tips on combatting culture shock? You may find these youtube videos about culture shock to be informative:
Smith library also has a DVD available for checkout entitled Culture Shock: International Students in the United States