Have you ever faced with a surprising and astonishing situation in a foreign country? Each country has its own culture and values which is different from others. If you feel tired, if you are emotionally sensitive, if you want to go home, or when you face an action or situation which is absolutely different from your culture, this is called culture shock. Culture chock is a kind of surprised feeling that we face mostly in a foreign country or place. There are different kinds of culture shock, some of them are very strong and some are not. In a foreign country every day you may experience a new thing or action which is absolutely unusual in your own culture.
The physical environment has a great influence in creating culture shock, such as, the way of dressing in different situations. Lets talk about the things that was new form me in one of the foreign countries. The traffic roles confused me. In Afghanistan when you want to cross the road you have to check your left, but in that country the traffic roles was different. In the first day I was about to crash.
Even the weather will be a great culture shock for you. If you come from a warm climate, you may find it uncomfortable to wear heavy winter clothing. Or when you come from a cold weather to warm climate, with warm clothes you may feel shy. Till you arrange yourself.
Culture shock is not only in physical environment, but it contains different views of the world, norms, values and beliefs. For example, if you walk on the street in India you will see different temples of different statue. You will be confused completely. You also may face many non physical culture shock in a foreign country that make you feel sadness, loneliness, allergies and melancholy.
Psychologists tend to get the impression that "culture shock" is some kind of disease that everyone routinely catches and after a certain length of time, recovers from, but nothing could be farther from the truth. There are people who go overseas and never recover from this condition despite the length of their stay. This is because "culture shock" is actually caused by the aforementioned mismatch of cultural attitudes, not by some virus, as sometimes seems to be implied. And it's easily seen that the traveler who doesn't maintain an open mind, and doesn't invest any effort trying to understand a foreign culture, is always going to be in a state of shock. Such people had best stay at home, for if they rigidly hold onto their own attitudes, they will -- in reality - have never left!
The most important reaction against a new culture is to judge something badly. It is important to be open toward the new culture which you are going. Before going to a country try to study about its different parts such as social customs, weather, beliefs, religion, history and political structure. Learning about host country will help you to decrease the sense of surprising and astonishing. If you want to study in a foreign country, it is necessary to talk with other students who have gone to your host country to learn what problems you may face. Keep it in mind that the culture that you are going to travel is different from your culture.
But even with such preparation you will experience culture shock. You may be unaware that the emotions you are experiencing are related to culture shock; in retrospect, this becomes apparent. Culture shock creates very serious situation for the students who are studying in foreign country, it disarranges their minds, so they could not follow their schedule appropriately. They feel loneliness and depressed; they do not enjoy of studying and sightseeing. As I experienced at least you need two month to arrange yourself for new culture. So go there with an open mind, and be prepared to change.
Going to study in another country is an exciting experience that requires preparation. I am not talking about technical issues such as how many clothes you should bring with you. I am talking about the big preparation, the one that is necessary to make your experience positive. Before you go, get prepared to experience culture shock. Some people may say “culture shock? It will not have any effect on me.” It is true that the degree of culture shock is different for different people.
So, what is culture shock? Well, it's a mix of emotions. Feelings of loss, confusion, stress, anxiety and impotence that comes from both the challenge of new cultural surroundings and from the loss of a familiar cultural environment. As a last word, culture shock is the physical and emotional discomfort one suffers when coming to live in a new culture.