The four goals of human behavior in the EPIC model are to provide empowerment, create protection, facilitate integration, and generate connections. Empowerment is achieved through delivering encouraging support and controlling daily challenges successfully.
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Protection against illness, harassment, and prejudice relies on learning about safety and gaining access to available resources, such as doctors or law enforcement. Integration occurs when a person generates sufficient knowledge about local culture and customs, which enables them to become a part of the school and the local community. Finally, connectedness requires establishing positive and friendly relationships with the host family, local counterparts, the community, and other PCVs.
One of the main adjustment challenges for me was the lack of integration. In order to manage it, I tried to learn more about local culture and traditions. For instance, I read about local celebrations and places of worship to visit them in my free time. This made me feel integrated because I met new people and established connections in the local community. Another adjustment problem was the lack of connectedness.
I resolved it by talking more to people, including hosts, staff, and other local residents. To feel protected, I familiarized myself with information about local protective structures, such as the police, and notified my family and friends of my location when possible. Lastly, to feel empowered, I usually write a detailed to-do list for the day and follow it. Although the actions on the list are small, completing them boosts my self-esteem and makes me feel empowered. Overall, I believe that my methods of handling adjustment challenges are helpful and comply with the EPIC model.