The Good and the Bad of Culture Shock

Foreign universities especially that on the top, witness the fusion of cultures, ideas, customs, and values. Countries such as America, UK, or Australia welcome students across boundaries to come and unify their oneness with the natives to form a larger, less complicated, and homogeneous whole. That is their perspective! What is often ignored is that the multitude of students bring with them a multitude of backgrounds. It is their own kind, psyche, mannerism, and much more which is not easy to share. Parting with the family & friends can be disheartening, although pre-planned.

Culture shock is best explained as the reaction of experiencing the different language, people, food, and a completely new culture. Homesickness followed by the pang leads to disappointments in one adapting the new surroundings.

However, some degree of culture shock is very helpful. It is not something to be worried about. After all, experiencing foreign culture is both entertaining and learning. It teaches, transforms, and build you as a new person altogether. Once you are aware of the advantages associated with facing culture shock, it becomes easy to choose the suitable higher education destination.

Here are five reasons for why challenging one’s comfort zone is a good decision, and why culture shock ain’t all that bad:

  1. It develops your personality

During the time you reside in a foreign abode, you meet new people with their unique ideologies and thoughts. To some this difference lowers their self-esteem and to others it’s another chance of self-development. It is usually accepted that alien surroundings often can be uncomfortable for those who are shy and introvert. Conversely, these are the testing times that build more compatible and adaptable character.

  1. It breaks the linguistic barriers
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Language can be both, a barrier and a bridge at the same time! While for some it alienates them from the society and for others it becomes a medium to enter into the interconnected web of languages. Learning a new language is unlocking the doors of opportunity to better understand psyche of others.

  1. It expands the social circle

Making new friends is not easy, especially when there is not a single similarity between the two. Yet it is very important to build new relations to help oneself adjust early. Travelling to new places gives you a chance to witness different people, befriend them and expand your social circle. Every person you interact with has a different history and outlook of life which expands your horizon and makes you more unprejudiced. From here you can move further with a different attitude and set of friends for life.

  1. It embarks the new culture – mixture of all influences

Like Singapore (where east meets the west), many other countries have a mixture of cultures. Visiting places is all about discovering new people, music, food, and traditions. One gets an advantage of learning about history and historical places. Remember, only the less travelled roads bring success. Similarly, only by facing the unknown, one gets a long lasting learning experience.

  1. You become different, yet the same old person in many ways

It is believed, foreign countries blend one into their cultures and then, they do not remain the same. Though the travelling experience brings out the latent part of you out in open, it also never kills the old personality. To put it differently, you become the transformed self yet share the same bond and relation with the people back in the home country.

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Only if you are ready to leave your comfort zone and ready to breakout of the limitations of the mind and soul, you are able to explore the unfamiliar and unknown.

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Sugandha Dhamija is a long term writer for The Chopras, noted overseas education consultants in India. The Chopras provides study abroad & career counselling services to avid students preparing for higher education abroad.

The Good and the Bad of Culture Shock

2 thoughts on “The Good and the Bad of Culture Shock”

  1. Good article, Loved becoming different part. The irony is there are both good and bad cultures and both good and bad effects of those cultures.


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