Culture Shock: How to Handle the Stress of a Cultural Change

“Culture shock, or the process of adapting to a new culture, is a phenomenon that is likely to occur when someone moves to a new city, country, or region, and begins to realize how its culture differs from their own original culture. Those who experience culture shock usually go through four different stages before fully adapting to the new culture. These stages are exhilaration, disenchantment, adjustment, and effective functioning.

“The first stage, exhilaration, is filled with excitement and hopefulness. At this stage, the person becomes almost infatuated with the new language, food, people, and traditions in their new surroundings; feelings toward the cultural change are overwhelmingly positive. Rather than focus on the differences between your host culture and your original culture negatively, you may view them with intrigue and enthusiasm.”

To learn about the second, third, and fourth steps of culture shock continue reading Ally’s complete article on her blog.

About the Author: Ally Bonicker ’23

Ally Bonicker is a rising Sophomore at Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, PA. She is majoring in Public Relations and Professional Writing. Ally has a passion for photography, art, music, and writing, and she enjoys spending time outdoors.

​Ally created this blog as the final project for her Multi-Cultural Communications summer 2020 course. In this course, she learned the importance of developing good intercultural communication skills. She has developed a strong understanding of many different cultures, as well as the unique cultural patterns and characteristics of many of the world’s cultures.

​Ally hopes this blog provides you with an insight into the cultural concepts and challenges that you might experience when studying abroad. Ally hopes to study abroad in the future and is currently considering Dr. Kathy Hughes’ May 2022 Ireland in Text and Image program.

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