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Culture Shock


Cultureshock demonstrates the effect or influence of shifting from anacquainted culture to one that is unacquainted. It encompasses theshock of a new setting, meeting a significant number of new peopleand learning the habits of a new nation. Accordingly, it alsoinvolves the shock of being parted from significant individuals in aperson`s life, comprising of close relatives, friends, as well asinstructors individuals to interact with in time of uncertainties,offer guidance and other support. A significant number of factorscontribute to culture shock, especially to international students,but in one way or the other such shocks are good for these students.International students encounter factors such as language, type ofweather, social responsibilities, behavior regulations, morals, aswell as relationship pressure as they move to study in internationalcolleges. There are various parts of culture shock including Jet-Lagwonder, which is frequently devastatingly positive and far fromdisorienting. The second stage is settling in to frustration, whichis the most hard part of culture shock because other people may behumiliated and laughed at and the reaction to such actions is alwaysanger. The third part is depression, feeling stranded, where peoplefeel helpless and longing. The fourth part is acceptance, where nowthe new students get used and now they become accepted by the hostfriends. However, despite the fact that culture shock is good forinternational students, some people argue that to some extent, suchshocks are not good because of various reasons just as discussedbelow.

Cultureshock for international students is good because it has generated apositive impact on the thought to Chinese students studying abroad.In most cases, this interwoven thinking is favorable to learning(Gonzalez 10). For instance, the American system places thecapability to think and analyze over the ability to memorize.Therefore,with such systems, students and in particular international studentsare made to develop good problem solving skills rather than justmemorizing ideas for the sake of attaining good grades or having goodacademic qualifications. With such skills in place, these studentschange their way of thinking, which is good for their future liveseven after school. Additionally, the American learning system puthigh value on the issue of punctuality. This leads to a change ofoutlook on international students who may not see much value inkeeping time. With a changed attitude concerning time management, thestudents learn the importance of planning their activities so thatthey do not lag behind and this thus becomes a norm in their dailylives. These values can help them even after college and during theircareer times. Therefore,it can be argued that culture shock for international students isgood as it improves their attitude and approach towards life ingeneral.

Teachingmethods used in international colleges are not similar with those atdomestic colleges. Therefore, it is assumed that changes in learningenvironment conducive to learning methods that lead to better resultscan be grouped under the student`s organization of mental life.International colleges encourage deep learning methods, which aregenerated with idea of producing career materials not just studentslearning for the sake of passing exams and attaining excellentgrades. For instance, the Chinese students in the United State arealways motivated by the prospects of a good career, and this iscommonly accompanied by an enthusiasm for course material that isperceived as interesting and that offers the necessary preparationfor that career. It should be noted that every country has its ownteaching methods a case in point is that of the Chinese whichprefers memorization as a method of understanding subject issuesamong Chinese learners. When Chinese students join internationalcolleges, in particular in the United States experience difficultiesin the first few months but with time, they adapt into the system ofcritical thinking and that is how they end up performing better inboth academic and in the life after college making culture shock agood one for international learners Arthur 19). The instructorsalways try their best to ensure that these international students fitwell in the learning environment by developing teaching methods thatare motivating. For instance, instructors always try to minimize thecognitive load by selecting activities and assignments that leaveroom for learners to draw on their prior knowledge and lifeexperiences. Furthermore, teachers of international students have thetendency to pay more attention concerning how they run their teachingmethods (Dunn 88). This is because in most cases, internationalstudents have been taught by their culture not to speak unless theteacher requests them directly with a question. This is because tothem, volunteering to respond to a questing with an answer is seen asbeing proud or arrogant. Therefore, with such attitude, a significantnumber of majority of learners do not question what the instructorsays even if it is not right or correct. However, despite suchcultures, international teachers do not restrict internationallearners regardless of the method they select to use in the learningprocess. Conversely, what they do is to provide direction andcommunicate with learners on an individual level just to ensure thatthey are understanding and gaining much from the topic being studied.Therefore, with all these efforts provided by teachers ofinternational students, these learners always end up more educatedand with adequate skills that can help them in accomplishing manyissues both in their academic life and in life after college. This isa clear demonstration to show how cultural shock to internationalstudents including teaching methods is good and beneficial forlearners and the college, and the country as a whole. This is becausesuch methods train learners on the path of career development ratherthan passing exams. Accordingly, international students learn a lotfrom such a culture shock for instance, they develop the idea ofestablishing personal relationships with other learners and theirfamilies (Karl 3). These are good skills that can benefit the studentat their jobs after they get employed and develop good communicationsskills in their working environments.

Theeducation system is another culture shock that is experienced withinternational students. In most cases, international students arehighly motivated to triumph in American education system. Forinstance, the service oriented librarians use all available bestpractice approaches in library classes and reference interviews inorder to ensure that international learners gain a lot from suchpractices, and in particular the Chinese students studying in America(Dave 26). They do this so that after the international studentscomplete their education, and return to their home nation, or evensettle in the United States, hopefully, their experience in theclasses or education systems will have been productive, positive, aswell as satisfying (Pedersen67). The education system back in their country of origin aresometime more rigid, note memorizing is preferred to establishingoriginal concepts. Frequently, there is slight class participationbecause of large class scope, and a cultural hesitancy to test theinstructor`s power and information. Accordingly, because readingmaterials are either not accessible, or too expensive, the instructoris frequently the only disseminator of information. With such issuesat hand, these learners do not perform well in their academic works(Patron64). Therefore, education system as a culture shock for internationallearners is good because it improves the learning ability of theselearners in every area. For instance, international students areallowed to freely express themselves in class, as well as in theirresearch papers. Furthermore, the education system of internationalcountries like the United States teaches learners to avoid plagiarismin their work through paraphrasing or citing any work that is nottheir own original work. Such a system encourages creativity andinnovation among its learners this implies that students are giventhe skills to be creative in their work by developing ideas ratherthan just copy pasting without understanding the concepts. In mostcases, domestic learners perform well in colleges because of greatstress. Failure, in some cultures, would result to shame, reflectingbadly on self, as well as on family and even on the country as awhole. Accordingly, pressure could come from a need to maintain highgrades in order to preserve bursaries, or from trying to complete athree year program in two years. Therefore, culture shock isexperiencing a sentiment of powerlessness, unease, as well asunhappiness when acclimatizing a new culture setting (Ong 56). Thisis a good approach for international students because once a learneradapts to such an environment he or she is sure of performing betterthan in their home based colleges. The education system also teachesthe international students to learner other languages such asEnglish, which enables them to tackle academic English as well ashave the knowledge of the language deeply as their second language.Education system also encourages full participation in class as wellas challenging the knowledge and authority of the instructor. This asa result leads to creating of self-confidence and self-esteem to doeven better in their general life after college. With such ideas inplace, it can be boldly declared that cultural shock is good forinternational students to a large extent.

However,it can also be argued although to a small extent that culture shockis not good for international students. This is because it tends todemoralize the students in various ways. For instance, someinstructors tend to ignore the needs of these students given the factthat some of them English is their second language(Ward51). Therefore, they may not understand what is being taught and thusleading to their failure academically and in future life.Accordingly, the education system of international colleges is tocomplex thus international learners find it hard to adapt it and theytake a long time to fit in the system, which is not a good thing.Therefore, it can also be argued that culture shock is not good forinternational students (Marx87). Accordingly, culture shock can make students loss hope becausethey feel they are not accepted in the new environment, thus it isnot good for international students.

Beingan international student, I had hard time getting used to the systemin my country of study. I went through a lot of rejection, hopeless,and longing to get back home and this affected me especially in myacademic work. But, I managed to go through each stage successfullyand became used and now am free and I love my new country.

Inconclusion, the research has demonstrated that culture shock forinternational students is good. This is because of various reasonssuch as teaching methods, which are good for such learners, goodeducations systems that are career oriented, and improved problemsolving techniques, which help the learners to be in better positionto solve issues, and challenges they face in their daily lives evenafter college. However, it was also argued that culture shock is notgood for international students because it causes discrimination andintimidation among other reasons. It is therefore, important thatboth learners’ and teachers learn to be accommodative in order tohelp these newcomers to settle peacefully within the institution.


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