In the beginning there was fire, then the development of small communities, then government systems, then one day, America. Along with American government systems and the most favorable American society. Ever since the development of the American society and the “American” label humans have been trying to put a description on the “average” American. African-Americans, Americans, and vast amounts of people around the world have been trying to wrap their finger around the American idea. So what does it take to be an American? The unalienable rights life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? The everyday advantages of following the rules of this great country? When I look upon this country and see the inhabitants, I see Americans. People who have been raised with strong morals, a society who chases their dreams instead of hiding from their fears, a population willing to work for their happiness and freedom.
Cultural shock is a common feeling a person experiences when transitioning into a completely different environment and living situation. Throughout the world, immigrants experience many difficulties when assimilating into a new culture.
Defining what really is to be an American does not sound as easy as it seem. It will always be complex process. As immigration continues to fuel the growth of the population of our nation, racial and ethnic gap increase and evolve along with it. Racial and ethnic identities become more and more convoluted and difficult to understand. Race and ethnicity continue to intermingle and push a cultural shift in the US– a shift that plays a significant role in redefining America in a day-to-day basis.
Pederson (7) explains that there are stages of culture shock, which he identifies as the honeymoon, negotiation, adjustment, and adaptation. In the honeymoon phase, a person is likely to get excited about being in a new place, meeting new people, tasting new foods, and acquiring new habits. However, as time passes by, they get into a phase of negotiation, where the differences between the culture one is used to and the one they find themselves in start to become apparent. Feelings of anxiety, anger, and frustrations start to take shape as unfavorable events perceived as strange come in the way of the person 's life, especially if a person does not feel accepted in the new culture (Mukherjee 273). Loneliness may set in, and the urge to go back to the familiar culture strongly comes into play. However, as time goes by, adjustment sets in, usually within six to twelve months, and one gets accustomed to the culture and also comes up with a routine. By this phase, one knows what is expected of them, and life once again becomes ‘normal.’
President Truman once said, “America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination, and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand”. These thoughts still hold true today. Being an American means so much more than reciting the pledge of allegiance every morning at school. It is more than just watching fireworks on the fourth of July. So what does being an American truly mean? Although there are many different definitions, it is defined by many people as believing in the idea that no matter your race, gender, religion, or background, everyone is created equal and given the opportunity to live their life without fear of discrimination or oppression.
When the immigrant’s native language is not one of the general population, certain difficulties arise. For immigrants to be functional in society, it is highly important for them find a way to communicate with the culture around them. One way of doing this is learning the language of those in the surrounding culture. If immigrants decide to not go through the trouble of learning a new language, they often find that when they apply for jobs employers are, “discouraged by the fact that [they know] hardly a word of English” (Fox
Education is one of the best ways to help immigrants to assimilate to their new country; in way that the faster they can learn the ways of the new country, the faster they can become a part of it. An immigrant’s children, if they even have any, need to be able to speak and read in English in order to attend classes and learn the material, as well as making friends. According to the Robert Wood Foundation, most immigrants would say that their lacks of English related skills are a major barrier to improving their life or social standards. Most school systems have what they call ESL classes, English
Most young people believe that studying in a different country is a privilege because they are able to experience other cultures, and learn from them. However, in the United States it is not as good as they thought because International students have much more pressure being in this country, and sometimes they cannot handle it very well. Therefore, in the United States the life of an international student is very unfavorable if people compare it to the life of an American student. International students have to learn a new language to study, they cannot work while studying, and their tuition is much more expensive.
Culture shock is the feelings of alienation, hostility, heightened ethnocentrism, sense of loss, depression and/or self doubt that may result from immersion in a new culture.
After graduating high school, no one prepares you for college. Most kids when they are finished with high school don’t even fantasize about going back to school. I have always wanted to go to college ever since I was a young kid. I also had dreams of myself going to college, but in my dreams, everything was picture perfect. In reality, college has been very challenging for me. No one tells you about the adjustments and complications that you would have to face to become a successful college student.
“In 2006 to 2007, according to the data compiled by the Institute of International Education, 582,984 students from all over the world were enrolled in American colleges and universities in a wide range of fields” (Carter, Paragraph 2, 2008). The United States has the highest number of students who are coming to study abroad than any other countries. Each year, the number of international students coming to the United States to obtain degrees is increasing by thousands, and home countries of these students are primarily India, China and Korea, all located in the whole different continent. But what are the motives of students who are crossing the sea to study? Their goal of studying abroad is to experience diversity and to adapt attitudes
A sudden change in one’s surroundings can result in culture shock. Culture shock refers to the anxiety and surprise a person feels when he or she is discontented with an unfamiliar setting. The majority of practices or customs are different from what a person is used to. One may experience withdrawal, homesickness, or a desire for old friends. For example, when a person goes to live in a different place with unfamiliar surroundings, they may experience culture shock. Sometimes it is the result of losing their identity. In the article “The Phases of Culture Shock”, Pamela J. Brink and Judith Saunders describe four phases of culture shock. They are: Honeymoon Phase, Disenchantment Phase, Beginning Resolution Phase, and Effective
Culture Shock has played a tremendous role in the growth of cultural ecology because it is an issue that is constantly growing all over the world. In the United States, it may not seem like things are changing involving culture shock, but it is not any different then the changes in places like Africa and China for example. It is developing equally across the world because there are now more ways to travel. So, what exactly is culture shock anyways? Well, it is known as going to a foreign or unfamiliar territory that one is not used to, so they may feel symptoms of anxiety such as nervousness or shock because the customs, actions, beliefs, etc of those people may not seem familiar to them, so one may feel ill-prepared for the changing environment. Also, for example, if one was to go to school in the U.S. but came from China, they would feel culture shock because the rules in China are not the same as rules in the U.S. and so it may make one feel uneasy about the situation because they are not use to change and maybe the move was to quick for them to adjust properly. The United States is very different from foreign areas because the culture is very different. Where have people of Africa seen movie productions, music, sports, universities, iPhones, computers, etc? The answer is not where they live but in the United States if they traveled there before. This is exactly the issue with culture shock in ecology. Culture is what people behave like, feel, and do. Shock is a symptom
One of the most obvious difficulties for an international student is culture shock. Culture shock is the result of moving from an environment that is familiar to one that is not. Adjusting to new food, people, environment and
Georges Frederic Doriot (1899-1987), who earned the sobriquet of “Father of venture capitalism” for establishing the American Research and Development Corporation, founded INSEAD, an acronym for the French name for the “European Institute of Business Administration,” in 1957.