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Recognizing Culture Shock and Tips to Overcome It

There is a universal phenomenon which takes place among international students about four to six weeks into the first semester. Culture shock hits hard. Orientation and all the busy activities that go with it are over, classes have begun, the work is getting more difficult, and mid-term exams are looming. It doesn't help that in many places in the U.S. the days are getting shorter, darker, and colder. You may find your mood dropping and even be wondering if you have chosen the right school. Homesickness is pulling you down.

 Some typical reactions to culture shock are: anxiety, irritability, feeling helpless, changes in sleep or eating patterns, feeling overwhelmed, feelings of self-doubt, depression, crying spells, fatigue, and physical ailments such as stomach or headache.

The good news is that culture shock is a normal and expected part of any cultural adjustment. Knowing what to expect and understanding that it is predictable, expected, and temporary will help you get through it.

Here are some other things you can do to overcome culture shock: Do things you enjoy. Get out, see people, and do things. Identify the positive. Don't disparage your host culture or people. Invite a friend for a visit. Find out where to shop for your favorite foods. Do something nice for someone. Know it is coming and it is normal and even expected. Give in to homesickness by having a good cry. Homesickness is actually a form of grief. You need to spend time grieving over all you have left behind. It is healthy and will help you move forward. 

 

 

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Heading Home? Bringing Closure and a New Beginning

Leave well to bring closure to your study abroad experience. This I-Student Global article helps international students prepare for the changes they can anticipate when returning home.

http://www.i-studentglobal.com/study-regions/usa/heading-home

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Smoothing, Supporting and Surviving Your Kid's College Transition

Free webinar hosted by Rachel Yates of The Expat Life Line for parents of TCKs/CCKs who are about to send their child off to college / university as well as expat families about to repatriate with adolescent children.

Enjoy!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxYdBekQ1rcaeS1YYUM2dWJETFk/view?ts=571f8c09

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Helping International Students Understand American Values

In Hobson's Counselor Connection, October 2009 Issue Tina Quick wrote the article, Helping International Students Understand American Values. Click here to read the full article.

AN EXCERPT: "Shared history and geography often give rise to the perceptions that become incorporated into a nation's identity. Although America's communal history is relatively short, many U.S.-born citizens inherently display values that are rooted in historical events. As with any culture, Americans have distinguishable values that international students should try to understand so they can successfully adjust. While there are many American perceptions and behaviors that are worthy of discussion, the focus of this article is on five attributes of Americans that sometimes result in confusion or even clashes with members of outside cultures."

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IFT Now Offering Webinars

Tina Quick of International Family Transitions is now offering her seminars and workshops via affordable webinars. If you haven't been able to bring Tina to your school or organization, consider bringing your audience to Tina via the webinar platform. All webinars are customized to meet the needs of your particular audience whether it be students, parents, teachers, counselors or administrators.

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