Think about a time when you were immersed in a new culture or co-culture. Write a 250-500 word reflection, addressing the following:
- Explain the circumstances surrounding your immersion in a new culture/co-culture. What was the reason for your trip/experience?
- Identify the stages of culture shock present in your experience of the new culture/co-culture.
- Explain how you tried to cope with the culture shock.
- Discuss how you might cope with the culture shock in a healthier way in the future based upon what you learned about culture shock in this topic.
Sample Culture Shock Reflection Paper
I experienced new culture immersion when I was sent back to my ancestral home to live with my grandparents for a while. My grandparents lived among individuals who practiced Chamorro culture, something I never knew anything about. I had a problem communicating and interacting with people, having been brought up in the United States. I could also not understand most of their daily life routines including dressing, behaving among different people or even interacting with those of my age. It was a great challenge to be there at first. While there I experienced different stages of culture shock.
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The first stage was honeymoon stage which was highly adventurers to try new food, to see new forms of dressing and living and to try new language, though without being conversant with it. I then experienced the frustration stage where I could not understand what was being said, making it hard for me to walk around doing anything on my own. This was considerably frustrating since in most cases I could not even understand what my grandparents were saying to me and signs and gestures did not do me any better. This went on for more than three weeks before I started adjusting. In the adjusting stage, I was able to understand a few spoken words and I had understood their sign language and gestures. I had also developed some liking to different dishes that it was easy to know what I would eat and what I would not. Although my time of stay did not give me a chance to feel comfortable with this culture, I had at least managed to integrate with them and to learn a few things. I am sure that the next visit will be different, such that I will feel more adapted by the time I leave this place.
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I tried to cope with culture shock using various methods. One involved the use of gestures while speaking to make others understand what I was saying. I also tried to learn the language. I identified a few young people who conversant with English and they played a great role in training me the basics of their language and culture. I also used to walk with them for interpretation which helped me a lot in coping. According to Anjalin, Mazumdar and Whiteside (2017), one can cope culture shock by being engaged in hobbies and other interesting activities to be distracted. One can also set personal goals in learning the culture to ensure that they understand it as soon as possible. It also helps to be patient with oneself and to be less judgmental. One should also use the available resources to learn and start a journal to write every new cultural aspect that is encountered.
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