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Cultural adjustment
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Cultural adjustment

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  • v.thom@shu.ac.uk
  • these are some of the things which people notice to be different when they move outside their usual culture and into a different one
  • write down your thoughts on the post-it notes provided and collect them together to see if themes emerge from your group.A lot of people are surprised by how multi-cultural Britain is- why is that?People often comment on how friendly people are- this may be something about Sheffield, the North- see if people in London are the same...Students are often pleased to have more freedom, to see people enjoying themselves, expressing themselves often in unusual clothes. Students are also shocked by the extremes of dress, drinking and relaxed morals of some of their fellow students.
  • You may notice that a lot of the things which come up that are both a surprise and a source of anxiety are at the physiological level; differences in smells, temperature, dress. People worry that they won't get the food they like, managing personal hygiene toilets, about getting around, understanding the language, about accommodation and money. These are concerns from the bottom of the triangle ; they impact on everyone as these are our basic needs and if there are different ways of doing things it may be a surprise- pleasant or not. People sometimes fear racism, that they won't make friends, that they won't be able to manage the course, the unknown, being run over by a car
  • making new friends and being socially active, working hard and learning at a higher level are often what people seek when they study abroad. Making sure you have a good balance between study and a social life, making friends and being engaged with what you are doing are very important in helping you to adjust to your new life. Try to get out of the city, into the countryside around, to other cities to give you more to remember and take home with you
  • ●You may have chosen to study in the UK because you want to have a global experience. With over 30,000 students at Sheffield Hallam from over 120 countries - Sheffield Hallam University is the ideal place to meet students from around the world and make new international friends, as well as with some of the locals. ●In a globalised times, some employers may require you to have an understanding of different cultures or you may choose a career where you are dealing with people of different nationalities - so make the most of this opportunity by making friends with people from other countries, as well as your own and learn about different cultures and traditions.●By making friends with UK students you can practice your English language skills, this will help with your course because coursework and exams are in English. You could also develop other language skills too!●University isn’t just about studying - having a work-life balance is important for your overall wellbeing. You need a break, and this will help you to remain focused and prevent you from getting stressed and being unable to cope. Living in a new country can be a culture shock at first because you miss home, so by mixing with people and making friends can help you to get used to the culture and to feel part of the community. It will also give you a support structure if times get tough because you will have people to talk to about worries.●Make the most of trying new experiences, visiting different places - there's so much to do and see while you are here. Sheffield is a great city, that has lots of exciting activities you can get involved with outside of your studies. Have fun!!! ● Some of our most successful graduates are the ones who are able to manage more than just their studies...
  • ● Every social occasion is a chance to meet potential friends. We hope that you will make the most of the session and get talking!● It's up to you to put yourself in these situations and be proactive about things. For example if you sit in your room alone, then you can't expect people to come to you. ● Meeting new people doesn't have to cost anything - there’s lots of free options. You could meet people in seminars, lectures or at food outlets. For example, you could sit next to someone new or stand next to them in the cue and start a conversation.● You could visit the Universities Multifaith Centre on Level 2 of the Owen Building and meet people there.● You could take part in sports activities or attend the gym and meet people who share your passion for fitness.● Freshers Week starts next week and is a week long of fun activities and events across the City. It is a fantastic opportunity to meet lots of new students who are in the same boat as you - they are eager to make new friends to help them settle in.● We, the International Student Support Team provide a wealth of support for you - Conversation Club, Local Friends, ICE Club, Cookalong… The International Students' Bulletin is a great way to find out about opportunities plus we have an active Facebook group, where you can meet other students.
  • ● There are also lots of ways to meet people outside of the University.● For example, you could meet people at your accommodation premises. You could offer to cook lunch for your housemates to get to know them better or hang out in a communal area of your halls of residence so that you can get to know other students who live there.● You could visit tourist attractions around the City such as Sheffield Museum or the theatre, visit coffee shops, the peace gardents…● Pubs, clubs and bars - but you don't have to drink alcohol and ruin your liver to make friends● You could meet people at Church or the mosque, or other religious venue● If you get a part-time job while you study, then you could meet people at work - this includes work colleagues and customers● Sheffield Forum is an online social networking site for the people of Sheffield. So it's a great way to meet locals because it lists local events, activities and social groups. ● Joining social club for people with common interests is a great way to make lasting friendship and have fun at the same time. So this could be a hobby group. For example, if you enjoy walking and exploring new places you could join Sheffield Walking group. They arrange regular walks through the Peak district and the countryside. Plus they organise evening socials for members.● You could use the Sheffield Help Yourself database which was created by Sheffield City Council to find other social groups. The web address is on the resource handouts.
  • ● It's up to you to put yourself in social situations and be proactive about things. ● Think positively - you may not make a new friend every time you are in a social occasion, but keep trying. But do not force people into having a conversation with you, there will always be some people that you aren't compatible with. Be polite, but also know when to move on. ● And once you make some friends, don't get locked into one friendship group - keep meeting new people and widen your network. ● By keeping up with current events by watching the news, reading the International Students' Bulletin to keep up etc you will always have something new and interesting to talk about and things to comment on.● Introduce friends to other friends. And then they may return the favour and introduce you to their other friends too.● You may feel shy about meeting new people, especially if English may not be your first language. You may make some mistakes along the way, but with practice your conversation skills will improve and it will get much easier to talk to new people.
  • Culture affects the way we see things- perceptionshow we make sense of other people's behaviourthe primal necessity of making judgements =- tempered by civilised, tolerant rational post modern consciousnesshow we feeland react i.e.. it's a natural response to be hostile when threatened but we must manage our behaviour and recognise that we don't need to be threatened by for example- a man who won't take no for an answer/ a woman in a chador…
  • Understanding culture means starting with understanding ourselves- what are our cultural rules, where have they come from?How do they contribute to our sense of identity? What behaviours make us feel threatened? Which aspects of our culture do we value and wish to preserve wherever we are?Which elements of new cultures would we choose to adopt or try out? What an we learn from the way others do things, the way they live? How can we find out why people do things as they do- different from us? What makes us the same, and how much do differences matter in the end?
  • Some psychologists have observed that all adjustments in life create stress. New experiences such as living in another culture are stressful in good ways- they are exciting, but challenging as well. In the first model this is presented as an up and down experience of culture shock where initial excitement and elation is followed by a hard hitting reality which can be accompanied by homesickness; adjustment follows but then a sense of isolation precedes the stage where the visitor starts to feel at home. This is a typology- not something you will necessarily experience nor in exactly this way. Another model suggests that we start from a place which we keep going back to, round and round, like a spiral, feeling that we are happy and comfortable then anxious and unsettled, and that the intensity of those feelings diminishes each time round. It's worth being prepared for such feelings and recognising that the difficult moments can pass just as quickly as the good ones.
  • This brings us to the end of the presentation. Thank you for attending the session. We hope that it has been useful to you and that you will make some valuable friendships. Enjoy your time at Sheffield Hallam University - make the most of your time here and have the best year of your life!
  • Transcript

    • 1. Cultural Adjustment Viv Thom International Student Support Team Culture is like the water we swim in- we don't notice it's there until it isn't
    • 2. What was strange or surprising? What were you worried about before you arrived? What were you looking forward to?
    • 3. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
    • 4.  Do you feel at home?  What would help you to do that? Do you feel like you fit in?
    • 5. The benefits of making new global friends:  Settle into life here in Britain  Learn about different cultures  Improve your English and other language skills  Wellbeing and work-life balance  Gain new experiences and have fun!!!  Succeed in your studies
    • 6. Where you can meet new people: On campus  Seminars and lectures  Students' Union (societies, volunteering)  Food outlets  Multifaith Centre  Sports and the gym  Freshers' Week  SHU Fest  SHU International Facebook group  International Student Support events and activities
    • 7. Where you can meet new people: Off campus  Your accommodation  Day trips and nights out  Many student events around the City (e.g. Events Sheffield website)  Places of worship  At work  Online social networking (e.g. Sheffield Forum)  Join groups, clubs Local newspapers
    • 8. Some tips: • Spend some time talking to (English) people each day • Have a positive state of mind • Watch TV news, keep up with current events- listen to Radio • Assess your environment • Introduce other people to your friends • Practice your conversation skills often
    • 9. How does culture affect our behaviour ? filter perception evaluation construction of meaning response HARMONY (consistent with cultural beliefs) people & social events CONFLICT (inconsistent with cultural beliefs) etc FEELING SAFE FEELING THREATENED family/language morality /religion /climate /school / food / relationships media /climate
    • 10. Self awareness:  Understand that people have different cultural rules and behaviours  Respect those differences  Be aware of how you react to those differences  Try actively to avoid misunderstandings  Be aware of prejudice
    • 11. W-CURVE: STAGES OF ADJUSTMENT EXPERIENCED DURING ORIENTATION Adapted from “Orientated for Success”, edited by M Barker, Australian International Development Assistance Bureau, 1990. spiral of life events
    • 12. Some online resources: International Student Support and Sheffield Hallam University  International Students' Bulletin https://blogs.shu.ac.uk/interna tionalstudentsbulletin  SHU International Facebook group www.facebook.com/groups/s huinternational  Hallam Union www.hallamunion.org Wider community  Events Sheffield www.welcometosheffield.co.u k/events Finding a social club or group  Sheffield Help Yourself www.sheffieldhelpyourself.org. uk Social networking  Sheffield Forum www.sheffieldforum.co.uk Online guides  NUS - Making Friends/Settling In http://www.nus.org.uk/en/advi ce/freshers-and-settling- in/freshers-and-settling-in- listing/making-new-friends  BBC guide for greeting people www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/l earningenglish/radio/specials/ 1142_greeting/page2.shtml
    • 13. Links  Expectations: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AeJEnQkcig  First Impressions http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWR7iJ4MpW4  Culture Shock http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ov92M6o3EnQ  Orientation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJmq8O8-Ils

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