Adaptation to a new culture may be extremely challenging, particularly when relocating to live overseas. The majority of individuals who reside in foreign nations usually go through an adjustment period for a couple of years, a time when they experience culture shock. The moment culture shock is identified and understood, its impact is easy to lessen significantly. Failure to easily adapt to a different culture when people move abroad makes them frustrated (D’Souza, Singaraju, Halimi, & Mort, 2016).
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Living overseas and adjustment to a different culture is dependent on what a person makes of it (Kostis, Kafka, & Petrakis, 2018). Therefore, it might either turn out to be the best experience of a lifetime or may be unbearable to a point of making an individual decide to return home. Interacting with people who have a different culture when one is living amongst them may present challenges or adventures, and has the possibility of being the most exciting phase of a person’s life.
When people go to reside or work overseas, they should become independent and strive to adapt to the new culture devoid of the support and assistance from family members and friends. This calls for a great extent of open-mindedness. When interrelating with people in the new place one at times finds them acting odd and believes that if people in the home country did the same thing, it would have made more sense, or be completed more easily, quickly, and competently. To triumph over such thoughts, one should try to be as open-minded as possible (Kim, 2015). When such a person has a frustrating experience, there is a need to relax and remember that one should be open to other approaches to doing things.
D’Souza, C., Singaraju, S., Halimi, T., & Mort, G. (2016). Examination of cultural shock, inter-cultural sensitivity, and willingness to adapt. Education+ Training, 58(9), 906-925.
Kim, Y. Y. (2015). Finding a “home” beyond culture: The emergence of intercultural personhood in the globalizing world. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 46, 3-12.
Kostis, P. C., Kafka, K. I., & Petrakis, P. E. (2018). Cultural change and innovation performance. Journal of Business Research, 88, 306-313.
The traditions, attributes, and social standards in a new country, such as the United States, might appear very different for a foreigner when compared to the way things ought to be done in the home country. When people migrate to a new culture, there is natural carrying of own background and behavior, which influences the manner in which individuals identify and adapt to the practices in the new culture (Kassar, Rouhana, & Lythreatis, 2015).
For instance, foreign employees may find working in American organizations easy to adapt to, whilst others might struggle much or fail to adjust completely hence choosing to forfeit the job and go back home. Culture shock is common when a person moves abroad and leads to sentiments of confusion, stupefaction, and anxiety, which arise while getting adapted to the unfamiliar culture.
People do not have a similar response to cultural adaptation and experience the issues of culture shock in diverse ways, and at varying stages. However, there are ordinary reactions to culture shock, which encompass excessive homesickness, avoidance of social situations, sleep problems, difficulties with assigned tasks and failure to concentrate, being overly angered by minor frustrations, and significant anxiety or fatigue. Each nation and culture is different and the fact that one has lived overseas earlier and liked it is not an assurance that they will enjoy another experience in the future (Presbitero, 2016).
When people move abroad, they learn many practices from scratch, and effective comprehension of the new culture necessitates avoidance of assumptions (Croucher & Kramer, 2017). Presuming that one will comfortably interrelate with people in a foreign country as one did in another may prove otherwise. People of different cultures have diverse approaches to doing things, and effective adaptation is vital.
Croucher, S. M., & Kramer, E. (2017). Cultural fusion theory: An alternative to acculturation. Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, 10(2), 97-114.
Kassar, A. N., Rouhana, A., & Lythreatis, S. (2015). Cross-cultural training: Its effects on the satisfaction and turnover of expatriate employees. SAM Advanced Management Journal, 80(4), 4-9.
Presbitero, A. (2016). Culture shock and reverse culture shock: The moderating role of cultural intelligence in international students’ adaptation. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 53, 28-38.