There are two types of culture shocks that travelers usually experience. The first is the shock of a brand new culture that a traveler experiences when he/she visit a country for the first time. The second is the more fearful one and the one that most travelers dread more. It is the kind of shock that a traveler gets on returning home from a foreign country. This is most commonly known as reverse culture shock. Students, who visit foreign countries for educational purposes, often experience this reverse culture shock as soon as they reach their homeland. They sense an isolated feeling all of a sudden, something that they may not have felt when abroad. Understanding the mindset of the members of their own family and even close friends can seem like a challenge. This is the moment when 'studied-abroad' students may identify a 'new person' inside themselves. Read on to learn more about reverse culture shock, common problems associated with it and how to get over it with ease.
Cultural Shock After Returning To Home Country
Most Common Causes For Reverse Culture Shock
Read for information on reverse culture shock after studying abroad, cultural shock after returning to home country, and re-entry shocks in the home country.
Reverse Culture Shock
- Your friends and family may, perhaps, expect you to be the same person you were before you left. You, however, may have changed during your time abroad due to your experiences and exposures to a totally different culture.
- Returning to your 'older personality' can prove to be a challenge. You should attempt sharing why you have changed your views and attitudes by explaining adventures you have had to everyone around you. This will help them understand you better.
- Re-entry students may sense a reverse culture shock in terms of ideas and beliefs, traditions, insights and values.
- Students may also look at their home culture, social conditions, homeland's mass media and language spoken by people around, as a completely new thing.
Symptoms of Reverse Culture Shock
- A peculiar feeling of restlessness will overcome the 'victim'.
- Reverse homesickness is a typical symptom of reverse cultural shock. Students, who have just returned from a foreign shore, tend to miss acquaintances, friends and places abroad.
- Another common symptom of reverse culture shock is boredom. Recently students from abroad experience a sense of insecurity, uncertainty, confusion and frustration.
- Bored and insecure students will often spend most of their time sleeping!
- A change in goals or priorities makes for yet another major symptom of reverse culture shock.
- Feelings of alienation or withdrawal are also frequently noticed amongst students who have returned from a foreign country.
- A strange feeling of resistance grows toward family and friends.
How To Deal With Reverse Culture Shock
- Try to fine-tune your new ideas and attitudes that were formed while you were abroad. This will give you the best of the results.
- Reverse culture shock can be toned down by integrating your new interests and cross-cultural skills with your life in your home country. This can be done through your involvement with international groups, tutoring or services in the community or on campus.
- You can develop the habit of writing on the positive aspects of your home country and send over the information to your friends overseas. In a funny way, this will help you relieve yourself from what has come to be known as a 'reverse culture shock'.
Experiencing reverse culture shock is common for students who have just returned to their homeland after years of education in a foreign country. However, one can easily overcome it, if dealt with positivity.