Sheray felice reverse culture shock

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Sheray felice reverse culture shock

  1. 1. Reverse Culture Shock Sheray Felice Newswriting 2001W Kenny 11/8/10
  2. 2. • “In some cases, particularly where a person has adjusted exceptionally well to the host country, reverse culture shock may cause greater distress than the original culture shock,” says Robert Kohls author of Survival Kit for Overseas Living
  3. 3. What is Reverse Culture Shock? • Reverse Culture Shock is a phenomenon that occurs when one returns to one's home culture after growing accustomed to a new one and experiences stages of adjustment.
  4. 4. 4 Stages of Reverse Culture Shock • Disengagement • Initial euphoria • Irritability and hostility • Readjustment and adaptation
  5. 5. Stage 1: Disengagement • Begin thinking about going home • Distance yourself from new friends and culture you have come to know • Excitement to see old friends and family that you have missed during your time abroad • Excitement as well as reluctance to leave • Many times don’t fully realize that you are actually leaving so don’t consider going home a big deal
  6. 6. Stage 2: Initial Euphoria • Finally are in the place you’ve known all your life • Excited to see your friends and family • Friends and family excited to see you • Popularity among friend/family group: everyone wants to hear about your adventures • Feel special
  7. 7. Stage 3: Irritability and Hostility • Initial euphoria wears off • Realization that while people are happy to have you back, your experiences don’t matter that much to them. • Feelings of isolation, loneliness, depression, frustration, anger, helplessness, disorientation. • Become a stranger in your own country
  8. 8. Stage 3: Continued • Feeling that people just “don’t understand” how you’re feeling or where you’re coming from. • Miss the country you were abroad in • Become resentful towards home country and customs you grew up with but are now foreign to you. • Although you have changed abroad, your life at home has also moved on without you. • Confusion
  9. 9. Stage 4: Readjustment and Adaptation • Eventual acceptance of home country and culture • Readjustment into old routines • Utilize changes you went through during abroad period into your daily home life • Life begins to becme normal again
  10. 10. When Stage 3 Lingers • “Jen is always depressed. I had to make a poster for her to highlight all the reasons why she should be happy to be home,” says senior Emily Salimbene on roommate, Jen Khamarji. “She always tells me how great Florence was and how she wants to go back.”
  11. 11. Why is Readjustment so Hard? • “I studied abroad in Singapore my junior year,” says 2010 graduate, Mary Hanink. “Everything was so cheap and I was treated like a celebrity there. People would stop me in the street and ask to take pictures with me because of my blond hair, blue eyes and pale skin. When I got back to the United States, it was winter, freezing cold and I wasn’t special anymore.”
  12. 12. Who Can Help? • Many times Universities have counselors at their schools that help assist students in Stage 3 and bring them closer to readjusting home • However, many schools seem to take Reverse Culture Shock less seriously than Initial Culture Shock.
  13. 13. What is Initial Culture Shock? • It's simply a common way to describe the confusing and nervous feelings a person may have after leaving a familiar culture to live in a new and different culture. ‘ • Going to a New Culture vs. Coming home.
  14. 14. Why Does RCS take a back seat to ICS? • Many times counselors and the people who help prepare you to go abroad want you to be comfortable in a place that is drastically different from home and very unfamiliar • Reverse Culture Shock can go unnoticed because of the assumption that you are surrounded by people who love you and the feelings of depression shouldn’t linger. • You need to help yourself abroad while you have a crutch system at home that can help you
  15. 15. When the Crutch System doesn’t Work • Many times its not your friends and family that abandon and isolate you when you return • You isolate yourself from your loved ones • Although going to a foreign country is difficult, many times you meet or know people who are from your home country and are feeling the same way as yourself. Can talk to these people. They understand • When you go home, many times you’re on your own and while you know everyone, few to no people are in the same boat as you…result: no one to talk to. No one understands.
  16. 16. • “There were no mandatory reverse culture shock meetings,” says Jen Khamarji. “I feel like UConn doesn’t care that I feel like this. I mentioned it to my study abroad advisor once and she said it was normal and my feelings should go away shortly.”
  17. 17. • “People change,” says Dorothea E. Hast, assistant director of the Office of Study Abroad at UConn. “That’s the main reason why many students coming home feeling so frustrated.”
  18. 18. Inability to Apply New Knowledge Learned Abroad in Home Culture • Changes abroad, evolves identity • Loss of new identity when you return home • “I never speak German at UConn,” says junior Emily Hanink. “And the German courses here are terrible, even the 3000 levels are just so basic to me now. I’m worried about plateauing.”
  19. 19. Getting Over Stage 3 • Surround yourself with friends • Understand that your experiences are your own and while they may not matter to your loved ones at home they are still valuable • Don’t lose touch with old ties to your foreign country • Talk to friends you made while abroad • Utilize new skills in home country: Cook foreign food, find language clubs in your area, etc. • Keep busy
  20. 20. Works Cited and Reference List • Emily Hanink: 860-337-1444 • Mary Hanink: 860-337-1825 • Jen Khamarji: 203-727-9300 • Emily Salimbene: 240-731-0505 • Dorothea E. Hast: 860-486-3609 Email: dorothea.hast@uconn.edu • Storti, Craig. The Art of Crossing Cultures. Yarmouth, Maine: Intercultural Press, 1990.

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