With increased globalization, it is inevitable that you will be communicating with people who are culturally different. Throughout the book, 'understanding intercultural communication', we can increase our appreciation, knowledge, and skills about intercultural communication as well as developing constructive, quality intercultural relationships that can make life enriching and exciting to ourselves and to people around us. And culture shock is one of the important and interesting topics that I want to write about.
"Culture shock is about the stress and the feeling of disorientation you experience in a new culture" . By recent research, there have had 2 popular models of culture shock: a U-curve and a W-curve. While I'm a college freshman, I feel like I went though several stages of the U-curve adjustment model, which consists of three phases: initial adjustment, crisis, and regained adjustment.
The initial adjustment, "the optimistic or elation phase", is great. This was right when I got there. I thought everything was so new and promising. I didn't be missing at home because I was doing so many new and exciting things. I was very busy making new friends and of course traveling. I have some old friends in some other college, we often gathered to make a small talk and went for a walk in campus and observed other students who older than me some reading books, some chatting with friends, some play guitar together... At that time I told myself 'oh my god student life is so interesting, lively. This is a true life in the way I expect, definitely different from my life before the time I only knew study and study. Let's live and enjoy your life'. I was curious about culture and cuisine there. Therefore I and my best friend traveled around Ha Noi. I really like old quarter, a rich food culturemost famous dishes, such as phá», cháş£ cĂĄ, cá»'m, bĂĄnh cuá»'n, nem trá»n, trĂ chanh, nem vuĂ'ng, cafĂŠ Giáş£ng... 'Life is so wonderful there are so many things I haven't known'- I thought that. It was a very exciting time and maybe it lasted for about 1 month.
Then is the crisis stage, "the stressful phase, when reality sets in and sojourners are overwhelmed by their own competence" , you may experience some discomfort before you are able to function well in a new setting. I think that the turning point was when I decided to sign up the advanced business program. This period was a hard time to me. As you know this program required a certain level of English skills and at that time my English skill was very bad. And I still remember the first period I got used to lecture in English and I couldn't understand the lecture despite the fact that how I tried my best. Thing became even worse in the reading lecture, I had look for the meanings as well as the pronunciation of almost every words. More than that, I can't keep suspecting my competences. I am kind of "the time server who are doing minimally passable job with minimal host contact and who are emotionally and cognitively serving their time, but eagerly looking forward o returning home" I felt quite isolate and avoided interacting with class members. In addition to, my rental house was so annoying at night so I couldn't concentrate on my studying. Everything became chaos. I was tired, angry, and wanted to go home and run away all stuff. I had experienced stressful for about 1 month and I couldn't stand more. I called my mother crying. I told her that I didn't want to study that program anymore and my mom told me that I had to go on, be patient and "It is the first step that costs". She persuaded me of the benefits when enrolling this program. She told me that I would get used to things and that everything would be all right. The following weeks, I worked hard and I was always under the pressure. I had trouble with language barriers and Thanks to my new friend for helping me a lot in improving my English skill and thanks to my old friend for giving me inspiration as well as words of encouragement, I went over the crisis period with an effort of will although it took me a long time.
And after that I experienced the regained adjustment- 'the settling-in phase, when sojourners learn to cope effectively with new environment' . I had finally made friends and felt part of the community. I felt fine better that I can make myself understood in the target language and that I can understand my teachers especially the foreign professors. I start involving the class activities and bravely interact with my teachers as well as other classmate in the lecture, keep in mind that these things I never did that before. These classes become more interesting for me, and the sense of flow of working came back. I study for my simple passion in economics. And I believe that one should follow excellence, not success, as success will take care of itself if excellence is followed. I was full of energy, enthusiasm and determination. However, I am just coming out of a very stressful.
As we know culture shock causes negative impacts for example psychosomatic problems, affective upheals, and cognitive exhaustion. Besides it also has some positive effects on newcomer: It creats new environment and an opportunity for individuals to experiment with new ideas and coping behaviors, and more than that it not only urges us to overcome our difficulties but also train ourselves more. In addition to it enhances an optimism and emotional richness, a sense of well being of us.
Thinking again that, at that time I should have accepted this is evitable, been easy-going making friends so having more time for chatting and acquiring the friends 'experience, and been more fervent in class and had a written plan and accompanying with specific actions in other words, short-term and long- term plan as well as been believing in myself that might release my strain.
Thanks to these feeling and what happened I have more experiences to deal with similar situations Maybe I'm going overseas in the last year of university or in the next few years my international coworkers work side by side with me, therefore, dealing with culture shock is unavoidable. The more you learn in depth about culture shock experience and the more you well prepare for it and the better solution you have as a result.