Living abroad is interesting but hard, for sure, because you have to make so many adjustments to your daily routine as well as to your preconceived notions about life. Balancing these adjustments can be tricky, and sometimes students find themselves feeling overwhelmed by so much change at once.
What is culture shock?
Vietnamese students will be shock and may have feeling of alienation and/or disorientation due to being in an unfamiliar cultural environment. Experts often describe culture shock as being a linear process with four stages:
- Honeymoon phase: You are excited with new culture and yourself focus on interesting differences that you encounter.
- Negotiation phase: After some time (usually around three months, depending on the individual), differences between the old and new culture become apparent and may create anxiety. Excitement may eventually give way to unpleasant feelings of frustration and anger as one continues to experience unfavorable events that may be perceived as strange and offensive to one's cultural attitude. Due to the strain of living in a different country without parental support, international students often feel anxious and feel more pressure while adjusting to new cultures—even more so when the cultural distances are wide, as patterns of logic and speech are different and a special emphasis is put on rhetoric
- Adjustment phase: Again, after some time (usually 6 to 12 months), you start to adjust to cultural differences and develop new patterns of daily living that both fit with the new culture and work for you.
- Adaptation phase: The culture begins to make sense, and negative reactions and responses to the culture are reduced. But if you are not abroad long enough to reach this phase; you will not have chance to be equally comfortable with your home culture and your “new” culture. Therefore, sometimes, we recommend students to have long-term plan of studying abroad rather than just few months or one year.
Please be note that there are many common characteristics of culture shock, such as:
- Feelings of loneliness and isolation that go beyond homesickness
- Frustration or even anger over difficulty in daily life (grocery shopping, public transportation, etc.)
- Feelings of incompetence or feeling “stupid” because language barriers
- Sleep disruption (insomnia or sleeping too much)
- Depression (mild to severe)
We have our own 24/24 hotline and local support staff in Japan to help you with Our Corporate – KOSAIDO Japan is located in Tokyo. For non-YUKI student, please be aware of this shock and choose the right way, the right partner who can help you when you go study in Japan.