Reverse culture shock             Realities and challenges                 Nargiza Jedwab, International Student12/2/2010 ...
What is reverse culture shock?Also called “re-entry shock” –• A period of readjustment to your home culture  after having ...
Nargiza Jedwab, International Student  12/2/2010                                                 Services, Kutztown Univer...
Stages of cultural adaptation• Pre-departure ups and downsDuring this stage you can experience sadness and excitement  whe...
Stages of cultural adaptationAdaptationThe stage where you learn to accept the host culture and start  feeling more at hom...
Stages of cultural adaptationExcitement at returning homeYou are glad to be home, and are anticipating the upcoming  chang...
Reverse culture shock takes place                  because…•   You have lived away from your home country•   Your have exp...
Prepare yourselfSimply being aware that reverse culture shock exists  will make your adjustment time easierSpend some time...
Prepare yourself• Think over your feelings about leaving the college  community• Spend some time with the people that you’...
When at home…• Avoid being defensive and too critical. People at home may  not be able to understand your ideas and identi...
When you return home you may find                     that…• People you know have changed while you were  away• People you...
You may also feel…• That parts of your home culture are illogical and  unexpected• Depressed and apathetic• Isolated and c...
What affects readjustment?•    Your cultural background•    Host culture where you spent time•    Re-entry environment•   ...
Students’ Experiences“I looked forward to returning to my home country   after having lived abroad for several years.   Ho...
Students’ Experiences“Sometimes it’s so annoying, but you  know, maybe people that did not leave the  country didn’t notic...
Students’ Experiences “I was numb when I came back to Russia. I couldn’t understand anything; nothing made sense to me any...
References• Black, J. Stewart. (1991, August). Returning  Expatriates Feel Foreign in Their Native  Land. Personnel, 68(8)...
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Reverse culture shock

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Reverse culture shock

  1. 1. Reverse culture shock Realities and challenges Nargiza Jedwab, International Student12/2/2010 Services, Kutztown University
  2. 2. What is reverse culture shock?Also called “re-entry shock” –• A period of readjustment to your home culture after having lived abroad Nargiza Jedwab, International Student12/2/2010 Services, Kutztown University
  3. 3. Nargiza Jedwab, International Student 12/2/2010 Services, Kutztown UniversitySource: End of Assignment Handbook for UN Volunteers
  4. 4. Stages of cultural adaptation• Pre-departure ups and downsDuring this stage you can experience sadness and excitement when saying goodbyes to friends and family.• Honeymoon phaseExcitement and fascination with the new culture. This is where you look forward to learning new things.• Culture shockA stage when you begin to increasingly see more differences between your culture and the host culture . Nargiza Jedwab, International Student12/2/2010 Services, Kutztown University
  5. 5. Stages of cultural adaptationAdaptationThe stage where you learn to accept the host culture and start feeling more at home.Pre-return ups and downsThis is the stage of anticipating the upcoming changes. You may be excited and relieved to see family and friends and look forward to experiencing the way of life at home. Nargiza Jedwab, International Student12/2/2010 Services, Kutztown University
  6. 6. Stages of cultural adaptationExcitement at returning homeYou are glad to be home, and are anticipating the upcoming changes.Missing other cultureThe stage when you may miss aspects of life in the U.S. Classically experienced as a period of depression or apathy, this stage can be very challenging.AdaptationThis is the time when start appreciating the differences between your host and home cultures. Nargiza Jedwab, International Student12/2/2010 Services, Kutztown University
  7. 7. Reverse culture shock takes place because…• You have lived away from your home country• Your have experienced a new culture• You have changed while you were away from home• People or circumstances at home have changedResearch suggests that it is harder to readjust to life back home than to the host culture Nargiza Jedwab, International Student12/2/2010 Services, Kutztown University
  8. 8. Prepare yourselfSimply being aware that reverse culture shock exists will make your adjustment time easierSpend some time before departure reflecting on your life abroad : Think about how you, your interests have changed How your family and friends, markets, culture, technology changed since you left your country How you can use the newly-obtained skills back home Nargiza Jedwab, International Student12/2/2010 Services, Kutztown University
  9. 9. Prepare yourself• Think over your feelings about leaving the college community• Spend some time with the people that you’ve become close with Nargiza Jedwab, International Student12/2/2010 Services, Kutztown University
  10. 10. When at home…• Avoid being defensive and too critical. People at home may not be able to understand your ideas and identify with your experiences. Try to remain positive and patient• Be a good listener. If you listen to others, they are likely to listen to your stories.• Seek support networks of like-minded people so you could share your experiences with them.• Manage your stress: be involved in sports, etc Nargiza Jedwab, International Student12/2/2010 Services, Kutztown University
  11. 11. When you return home you may find that…• People you know have changed while you were away• People you know have new friends and your friendships are not the same• You may find it hard to connect with people and society in the way you used to• You may feel frustrated to find people uninterested in hearing your stories• People may not understand reverse culture shockand not know how to react to you Nargiza Jedwab, International Student12/2/2010 Services, Kutztown University
  12. 12. You may also feel…• That parts of your home culture are illogical and unexpected• Depressed and apathetic• Isolated and confused Some people experience reverse culture shock only for a few weeks Others can feel that their whole life has been impacted by this process Nargiza Jedwab, International Student12/2/2010 Services, Kutztown University
  13. 13. What affects readjustment?• Your cultural background• Host culture where you spent time• Re-entry environment• Your age• Duration of stay abroad• Readiness to return• Your reason for returnThe better you understand the changes and challenges, the better prepared you will be for the reintegration process. Nargiza Jedwab, International Student 12/2/2010 Services, Kutztown University
  14. 14. Students’ Experiences“I looked forward to returning to my home country after having lived abroad for several years. However, when I returned, I began to realize things at home had changed or I had changed. I found myself constantly comparing my home culture with the (sojourn) culture and found my home culture lacking in several ways. I was in a state of conflict over wanting to live in my home country, while, at the same time, finding myself unable to continue living there. I felt like I should remain in my home country, but I really wanted to go back. “ -A survey participant Nargiza Jedwab, International Student12/2/2010 Services, Kutztown University
  15. 15. Students’ Experiences“Sometimes it’s so annoying, but you know, maybe people that did not leave the country didn’t notice. . . . I was getting really irritated because I remember how it used to be to do these things and it was difficult for me. “ -Troy, from Liberia Nargiza Jedwab, International Student12/2/2010 Services, Kutztown University
  16. 16. Students’ Experiences “I was numb when I came back to Russia. I couldn’t understand anything; nothing made sense to me anymore. Wow, this is probably the best way to describe it. Nothing made sense to me anymore.” (Olga, Russia) ‘So often I feel like an outsider there. When I go over there, it feels awkward seeing TV in German. . . . And I always feel that when I speak German, it feels like I’m speaking a foreign language. Like when I learned foreign languages, it felt like I was speaking Spanish or English. But it only takes me about a day to adjust. . . . That usually goes away after a little while when I’m there. But in the first couple of days, I’ll be in the adjustment phase.” (Anonymous) Nargiza Jedwab, International Student12/2/2010 Services, Kutztown University
  17. 17. References• Black, J. Stewart. (1991, August). Returning Expatriates Feel Foreign in Their Native Land. Personnel, 68(8), 17. Retrieved November 11, 2010, from Research Library. (Document ID: 719410).• Center for Global Education, Study Abroad Student Handbook• End of Assignment Handbook for UN Volunteers Nargiza Jedwab, International Student12/2/2010 Services, Kutztown University

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