Merriam Webster defines culture shock as a sense of confusion and uncertainty sometimes with feelings of anxiety that may affect people exposed to an alien culture or environment without adequate preparation.
Both adults and children experience culture shock. Children are typically resilient and show evidence of culture shock in different ways than adults.
Some common feelings shared by all:
These feelings may cause one to withdraw. If you focus on learning about the new environment and observing your new surroundings as a new experience, the discomfort will pass.
So remember, if you plan to interact with someone with a different background, travel abroad or host someone from another country, consider these tips for dealing with culture shock:
- Learn as much about the country as possible
- Ask the organizers for advice and tips to consider when meeting new people
- Set a few goals for your experience/trip
- Write what you liked and found interesting in a journal
- Talk to other people about how they felt when they traveled abroad or met someone from another country
Always be yourself, do your best to learn about the new culture and remember everyone adjusts at their own pace.