When you decide to study at an English School in the USA, it is not always easy to adapt to a new culture, and you may suffer culture shock. However, this phenomenon is not as worst as it may seem. Many measures can help you prevent or overcome it quickly. Climate, language, financial situation, physical or mental health, among other things are factors that can contribute to making this adaptation even more difficult. You must be aware that when you study English in an ESL School in the USA, customs and traditions are very opposite or somewhat contrasting from your own culture. It is expected that this causes a feeling of frustration and depression. If this happens, you must face your goals and purpose as to why you have decided to study abroad and evaluate whether you want to continue.
Studying in an English School in the USA can be a big dream for many people as this is one of the best methods to improve your English communication skills and learn a different culture. But often, in the excitement of traveling to a different location, people end up not getting ready enough for a possible culture shock, or sometimes they don’t even know it exists. But yes, it does exist and is very common to countries that have significant cultural differences compared to your country of origin. So in this post, you are going to know more about the culture shock that you may experience in an ESL School in the USA, how to avoid it, ensuring you are prepared to make a meaningful study.
Culture Shock Defined
Culture shock is a mixture of sensations and feelings that a person can experience when he comes across a different culture that he is used to living with. It becomes noticeable when there are differences in people’s daily routines. This includes the language, traditions and customs and the way of life. This shock can cause surprise and uncertainty, generating some anxiety. It varies significantly in intensity, as some people may find it easier to adapt to new situations or even better prepared for it. It is more common to happen at the beginning of your study in an English School in the USA and, during the stay, the new environment becomes more familiar.
Why does culture shock may happen when you study at an English School in the USA?
Culture shock generally occurs when you lose enthusiasm about staying abroad. However, you can get used to these things to lead a new life in the best possible way as you study in an English School in the USA. The time it takes to overcome a culture shock can be very different. When you already arrived in an English School in the USA, it is common that you can see differences. It takes time to understand the culture and get used to it. And the more different the country’s culture and the less prepared you are, the harder it can be. However, culture shock is not bad. When overcome, it is beneficial in your personal development.
What can be done against a culture shock?
There are some aspects that you can take into account to avoid or minimize culture shock. You don’t need to worry. You will gradually adapt and integrate the culture. This is part of your precious experiences in studying in an ESL School in the USA. Some of the most common recommendations are:
- Do research about the country: Knowing where you are going is one of the best ways to minimize culture shock. Reading the country’s history, its politics and language are ways to get tourists closer to the place. It is cool to dream about those beautiful photos and perfect landscapes seen on Instagram. However, be sure to search a little beyond what you see there. Social networks allow you to get closer to the place and will give you ideas or information about the country.
- Keep an open mind: Accepting differences or new aspects of culture is the most crucial step. It is not advisable to continually compare how things are in your own country; in fact, this can be one of the big mistakes. Also, a negative attitude can not help at all. When studying in an English School in the USA, make sure to focus on enjoying diversity.
- Try new things: Do not intend to continue with the habits you had. Try new flavors, have contact with the culture and local people. Immerse yourself into the culture around you.
- Find your hobby: Whether it is a sport, dance or yoga, the important thing is that you like it. This will also help you increase your social network. People who can be your potential friends will open doors for you.
- Communicate with your friends and relatives: Something as simple as signing up on Facebook, Twitter, or sending emails. Reading your local newspapers online can help you relax. Also, thanks to Skype, you can talk and even see your friends and relatives. This will allow you to have a quality conversation with your family and friends. Just don’t forget those postcards because they are still useful.
- Find joy in small things: Do not only give importance to differences but also look at the details that make a country unique — kindness, hospitality, and how people establish social relationships. If you look at the bright side of things, for sure, this will attract your attention.
The fewer worries you have during your study and stay in an ESL School in the USA, the better. Having a complete preparation and an open mind helps you to manage when you encounter a possible culture shock. Make sure to keep in mind these six points and let yourself enjoy your study in an English School in the USA.