How to Cope with Culture Shock

1298 Words Sep 28th, 2010 6 Pages
How to Cope with Culture Shock | | |

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In today 's global economy, where major firms have branches in most areas of the world, many more people than ever before contemplate living in another country. For some this means a job in a country with the same first language, but for most the first language of the country will be different. This is especially true of non-native English speakers. The culture of the host country may also be
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Once there the fourth, and most unexpected, stage occurs and this is referred to as the reverse culture shock stage. Upon arriving back, the returning resident will be eager to share their experiences of another culture that have made them a different person. However, they have returned to a group of people, and indeed a country, that has changed in the interim. These changes can be subtle or far-reaching, but they will affect the way that the returnee is accepted by, or accepts, their own host country and its residents. Often the change required will be too great. The returnee will in many cases deal with this by returning to the host culture or exploring another culture and language.How can Culture Shock be Lessened?The most important factor in coping with culture shock is to accept that, however well you prepare, it will affect you to some extent. As Schumann found in the course of his research, the four stages outlined above can never be avoided, but the length of time spent in each of the stages can be greatly reduced by taking certain courses of action.Firstly, the would-be immigrant should study the culture and language of their intended destination. This may sound obvious, but in the maelstrom of moving and sorting out affairs it is often forgotten. Even having a few words of the target language can help smooth your path in the early days. Also the realisation that there

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