Moving stage. Although this is the hardest

Moving abroad can be a beneficial experience, opening up the world to many amazing opportunities. It pushes people out of their comfort zone, boosts confidence, and teaches many important life lessons. Despite these benefits, there also comes some great challenges with moving abroad. These challenges include, but are not limited to, feeling lost, lonely, helpless, dependent, and sad. Culture Shock is defined as “the feeling of disorientation experienced by someone when they are suddenly subjected to an unfamiliar culture, way of life, or set of attitudes” (Oxford Dictionary (ed.) 2018). Everyone experiences culture shock in a different way, and takes a different amount of time to go through the predictable stages of culture shock (Vollmuth; Bomhard 2009, pp 9-10). The four predictable stages of experiencing culture shock include the
honeymoon phase, the frustration stage, the adjustment stage, and the
acceptance stage (Vollmuth; Bomhard 2009, p 10). Once someone moves to a foreign
country, the process begins with a rush of positive emotions towards the new
culture. During the stage called the “honeymoon phase”, all of the
different aspects of the new culture seem intriguing and interesting. The
negative aspects of this foreign culture are barely noticed. Subsequently, this
excitement wears off and the person now enters the stage called
“frustration stage”. This is when the negative aspects of the culture
become more prominent and noticeable to the person. Feelings of homesick,
sadness, and depression may begin to kick in during this stage. Although this is
the hardest stage of culture shock to get through, things take a turn for the
better once someone succeeds it. Next comes the adjustment stage, where someone
begins to learn the ways of the new culture and adapt to their surroundings. The
amount of time it will take to get through this stage can vary, but it
ultimately results in advancing to the acceptance stage. In this last stage the
person feels at ease and accepts their surroundings and the culture they are
living in. They accept the fact that they do not need to understand everything
about the culture, and that it will take time to learn some things. Although this
can be a tough process, in the end it is beneficial and promotes the person to
learn many new things about their self (The 4 Stages of Culture Shock 2016). International
students, who have moved abroad to study, can be considerably affected by
culture shock. This paper will discuss the different stages of culture shock that
someone may experience, and address the most effective ways to alleviate these symptoms.