4 Ways Of Dealing With Culture Shock As An International Student

After nearly three semesters of studying in the U.S, I can safely look back on my experiences and say that I'm much more comfortable being away from home than I was before. For those of you who are new to campus or are planning on studying abroad, here is what helped me get through the whole ordeal of getting used to a new place.

1. Brush up on your history

First and foremost, do your research! If you're planning on studying abroad in a country, read up on their history, how it came into existence, and ensure that you have a firm grasp on social issues. This will help you identify different groups of people that exist within the community and will also give you insight to the views they hold.

2. Familiarize yourself with the culture

Going to a country where you don't speak the official language? Learn it! Now I don't mean learning all official dialects and languages (for instance, India has 22!). You don't need to master 23 different ways of saying "Toilet" but at the very least, you should learn the basics of the region you're going to visit. It's important that you know how to ask for directions, read signs, and order a meal. Don't shy away if you feel that your language skills are lacking, as chances are if you put in the effort people are often more than willing to help and make out bits and pieces of what you're trying to say.

3. Interact with locals

While you might be tempted to spend all of your time with people from a similar background as yours, it is important that you branch out and interact with locals as well. Try to avoid tourist traps and find your way into places that locals visit. This will help you gain a sense of familiarity and will ease the transition.

4. Share your culture with others

But don't forget your roots! Stay true to where you came from and share your language, food and experiences with others. This will help you connect better with people around you while also helping you explore similarities and embrace differences.

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