For reject aspects of the new culture. This


For anyone moving to an unfamiliar, new culture, they are guaranteed to
face some sort of culture shock at some point of their adjustment into their
new life. Whether the person is studying or working  in the new culture, culture shock is normal to
face. It can be emotionally draining and frustrating, but it is possible to work
through the four stages and succeed in your new environment. As previously
mentioned, culture shock involves four stages. The honeymoon phase, where
someone feels infatuated with the new culture. During this stage, almost everything
about the new culture is perceived as intriguing and exciting. Although this
stage is thrilling and enjoyable, it will come to an end eventually. Once the
honeymoon phase has passed, the person will begin seeing the negative aspects
of the new culture. The new culture no longer amazes the person and does not
live up to their previously set high standards. This phase is called the
frustration stage, as they begin to feel irritated and reject aspects of the
new culture. This phase is the most emotionally exhausting, and can be hard to
get through. But once this stage is past, the adjustment stage begins. During
the adjustment stage, the person will have less of an emotional reaction to different
aspects of the new culture. Thus, they slowly begin to understand and see the
new culture better from a clear perspective. At this point, they are starting
to feel more integrated into the culture and regain interest in learning about
the culture, people, and language. Going through this stage then results in the
last stage of culture shock, the acceptance stage. The person no longer feels
as though they are a foreigner, and feel as though they are a part of the new
society. They now think of the new culture as home, and have learned to accept and
adjust to the new ways of living. Even though they may not feel like they
understand all aspects of the culture, they have accepted how things are. Once
they have really accepted and became accustomed to their new culture, they
sometimes begin seeing the faults in their previous home culture. Even though
these stages of culture shock are extremely challenging, it is important to be
educated about the subject and to understand that it is completely normal to
suffer from culture shock. For international students dealing with culture
shock, it is important to keep busy and find support groups to help cope with
the stress of school and culture shock. Making an effort to learn about the
culture, people, and the language can help international students though the
process of culture shock. Above everything, keeping a positive outlook on the
situation will help reduce the symptoms of culture shock and improve the
international student’s experience. All of the benefits gained from moving to a
foreign culture will far outweigh the negative symptoms of culture shock. Going
through the painful experience of culture shock teaches someone their true
values in life, and helps them see the world from a new perspective.   


3. Conclusion

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Even though culture shock may feel negative in the moment, it is an
important part of adjusting to a new culture. Learning something new, such as
the aspects of a different culture, is best taught through experience. Leaving
your comfort zone is usually an unpleasant experience, but in the end you grow
from it. When someone travels to a foreign country, all of their preexisting expectations
and beliefs about society and human life become questionable. Many lessons can
be learned from visiting foreign cultures, and the experience will ultimately
have a positive effect on your life. When people take the time to learn about
the aspects of different cultures, they are able to have compassion for the
people living within that culture. Many of the global issues we face today,
such as racism, war and poverty, could be fixed if more people had an
understanding and compassion for the other cultures. Someone can spend their entire
life in a specific culture that teaches them what is right and what is wrong,
and then fly to the other side of the world one day to discover that another
culture teaches the complete opposite. Therefore the foreigner’s eyes will be
opened and they will gain a new perspective on the values and beliefs of their
own culture. This is a beneficial experience, as it can help someone discover
what their own beliefs are and what they truly value in life.  


2.3. The Importance of Culture Shock

These stages of culture shock can have a huge affect on international
students, especially since they are often making the move to the new culture
completely alone, without family members or coworkers. The international
students will not only have the stress of school weighing on them, but as well
the stress of living in a new culture. For international students to succeed in
their lives and studies, it is important to be educated about culture shock. It
is important for them to know that culture shock is completely normal, and that
they are not the only ones facing these problems. Even though it can be
emotionally exhausting, it will pass and get better with time. They will learn
to cope with the stress and frustration that comes along with living in a new
culture, and eventually begin to enjoy living in their new home. Some
suggestions to help international students get through culture shock, is to
attend new comer’s and international groups in the new city they are living in.
These cultural groups can inform international student on how to do things such
as finding a doctor, using the public transportation, finding a hairdresser,
and language classes (Vollmuth; Bomhard 2009, p 10). Some other ways to cope
with culture shock include learning more about the culture you are living in,
learning the language, and keeping an open mind. Once someone first arrives in
a new culture, it is important to establish a daily routine. Having a sense of
control and balance in their life will help with the feeling of disorientation.
International students should try to build a new network of friends, to cope
with the feelings of loneliness. Keeping busy and getting involved in
activities is another helpful way for international students to battle culture
shock, as it promotes living in the moment and gives them less time to spend
thinking about what they are missing at home. Someone battling with culture
shock should make sure to get enough sunlight, exercise, and try to keep a
journal. These three things will help the international students to relax and
reflect on their journey. Another helpful tip for international students is to
share their experiences with others, and create a support network for
themselves. International students should try their best to maintain a positive
attitude throughout this process, even when things get tough. Ultimately, they
are the ones who control their experience in the culture abroad (Vollmuth;
Bomhard 2009, p 10).


2.2. How Culture Shock Effects International Students



After battling through these challenges of culture shock, the person
will eventually reach the last stage of culture shock. This stage is called the
acceptance stage, where the person identifies with the new culture and thinks
of it as their home (Vollmuth; Bomhard 2009, p 10). This new mindset and
identification promotes the person to begin integrating more into the new society.
Once they have started integrating into the society, they no longer feel that
they are being hindered by the new culture. They now feel as though they can
perform their best and reach their true potential (Mitchell 2017). When someone
reaches this phase, the aspects of the new culture begin to feel normal to them
and they grow accustomed to their new way of living. They don’t feel as though
they completely understand everything about the new culture, but they accept
that fact and feel at peace learning new things about the culture gradually.


2.1.4. The Acceptance Stage


After going through the frustration stage, things start to get better
overtime. This stage is called the adjustment stage, and is a gradual shift
from feeling frustrated to feeling at ease and accepting the norms of their new
environment. Suddenly, the person started to get used to the mindset and morals
of the new culture. They begin to have a better sense for what is considered
right or wrong, and can pick up on the small gestures from others. During this
stage, people will begin to diversify and make new friends. They regain their
sense of comfort, and sometimes start to prefer their new culture rather than
their previous culture. The response to the different aspects of the new culture
become more rational and less emotional, thus the person begins thinking with
an open mind and will learn about their new culture on a deeper level. This
understanding allows them to appreciate the different ways and approaches to
doing  things (Princeton (ed.) 2017). The
person starts to appreciate the new culture again, and will begin identifying
their self with the culture. They feel as though they are a part of the new
culture, and will regain the confidence they may have lost in the previous
stage. It is sometimes possible that feelings of pride for the new culture may
result in seeing your home culture in a negative view.


2.1.3. The Adjustment Stage


Once someone has reached the end
of the honeymoon phase, they begin to see everything a little bit more clearly
for what it is. This is when they begin to notice the negative aspects of the
culture they previously felt so in love with. This stage is called the
frustration stage, and includes feelings of homesick, annoyance, and sadness.
During the frustration stage, the novelty of the new culture begins to wear
off. Someone who was previously focused on the interesting aspects of the new
culture, will suddenly shift their focus to the differences between the new
culture and their home culture. They often feel helpless and frustrated, and
the small differences between the two cultures begin to feel like major
hardships. It is at this point of culture shock that most people will set out
on a search for familiar activities, food, and people from their home culture (Princeton
(ed.) 2017). Within this stage people begin experiencing difficulties with the
language, friends, housing, and schoolwork. These difficulties lead to feelings
of frustration and resentment. Tasks that would be considered little and
effortless in the person’s home culture, become large challenges in the new
culture. After feeling so great during the honeymoon phase, the person has set
high unattainable standards and expectations. When these expectations are no
longer being met, they begin to feel let down and disappointed (Santoro Bellini
2005). They start to question why certain things are done differently, and miss
the customs of their home culture. The time that it will take for someone to
move out of the frustration stage will vary, depending on the person. It can be
exhausting to go through this stage, and takes a lot of strength and patience
to succeed.


2.1.2. The Frustration Stage



For most people, moving abroad is an adventurous and exciting opportunity
and will initially trigger positive feelings. During the “honeymoon phase”,
the person will feel captivated and amused by the new culture surrounding them.
Whether parts of the new culture are similar or different from the person’s
home culture, they are intrigued and fascinated by it. It is common for the
person living abroad to feel motivated and energized during this stage, and
will want to make the best use of their time. That includes learning the
language, visiting local tourist sites, and meeting new people. Due to this excitement
and positive attitude, the person develops a feeling of invincibility and does
not foresee any future challenges or issues with adjusting to the new culture (Princeton
(ed.) 2017). There is often a sense of infatuation being felt for their new
surroundings, the new people, language, and food. They will not feel any regret
to the decision of moving to the new culture, and usually feel proud of their
decision (The 4 Stages of Culture Shock 2016). Someone in this stage has an
open mindset to the new surroundings, culture, and way of living. Although the
honeymoon stage is enjoyable, it is unrealistic for someone to stay in that
stage forever. Eventually, as the honeymoon stage comes to an end, the
“frustration stage” of culture shock begins.


2.1.1. Honeymoon Phase

2.1. The 4 Stages of Culture Shock


2. Analysis

The aim of this paper will be to discuss the different stages of culture
shock that someone may experience, and address the most effective ways to alleviate
these symptoms.

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 (Medium Corporation 2016). International
students, who have moved abroad to study, can be considerably affected by
culture shock.

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).


1. Introduction


Introduction.. 3
2. Analysis. 4
2.1. The 4 Stages of Culture Shock. 4
2.1.1. Honeymoon Phase. 4
2.1.2. The Frustration Stage. 5
2.1.3. The Adjustment Stage. 5
2.1.4. The Acceptance Stage. 6
2.2. How Culture Shock Effects
International Students. 6
2.3. The Importance of Culture
Shock. 7
3. Conclusion.. 8
4. Bibliography. 10






Email                            : 
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Address                        :  182

Matriculation Number    : 

Submitted by          
     :  Brooke Kuyvenhoven

Submission Date      
   :  16.01.2018

            :  Ms Eileen Küpper






The Stages
of Culture Shock and How it Can be Alleviated



Final Paper



Sankt Augustin

Department of Management Sciences




of Applied Sciences