Experts believe that cultural adjustment often occurs in three stages
- The Honeymoon Stage
Excitement about being in the new country
- The Uncomfortable Stage
Frustration, confusion, and negative feelings about the new culture, homesickness, illness. This stage is often called culture shock
- Adjustment Stage
Understanding many aspects of the new culture, making friends, and discovering helpful people at the University; ability to keep core values of the home country but operate within the values of the new country
Coping with the Adjustment Process
Understand that it is normal for anyone in a new country to experience some challenges when adjusting to the new culture.
- Learn and experience the new culture
- Meet people and make new friends, both from your culture and from other cultures, including Americans who will be able to help you better understand American culture. Meet Americans by talking to them in the classroom or workplace or by joining clubs and organizations. Find trusted Americans to talk to about cultural questions
- Respect differences and similarities
- Maintain contact with family and friends back home. Phone or write home, watch a video from your home country, eat in a restaurant that services food from your native country
- Take care of yourself physically: get plenty of rest, exercise, and eat well
- Get involved in an activity or with a group that you find interesting.
- Work towards feeling comfortable in the new culture
- Work on enhancing English skills, especially your conversational skills.
- Enjoy nature. Walk around campus. Occasionally eat lunch outside in the courtyards
The International Center is here to help students with the adjustment process into U.S. culture and lifestyle. If you need additional help, please contact the International Center at 810-762-0867. All information that you give us will be kept confidential.
- Tips on cultural adjustment from other international students:
- Do not stay alone in your room every night.
- Go out with a friend to see the city or shop.
- Get involved with nationality clubs or other organizations on campus.
- Laugh at yourself if you make a mistake.
- Do not be afraid to try new words or practice your English skills.