Stages of Culture Shock - How To Deal With It?
26 Dec 2022

Stages of Culture Shock - How To Deal With It?

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Key Takeaways

Culture shock is the feeling of unfamiliarity you get when you move to another country for the long term. As an NRI, you may undergo four stages of culture shock. Being open-minded and seeking help from your peers can help you overcome culture shock.

Moving to a foreign land, whether for work or education, is always a unique experience. You meet new people, make new friends and learn about new cultures. However, unfamiliar territories and encounters can be overwhelming, and you may find these novel cultures intimidating or shocking. This article explains the phenomenon of culture shock, its stages and how you can deal with it.

What is Culture Shock?

Culture shock is a feeling of uncertainty that you experience when you move from a familiar and comfortable environment to an unfamiliar setting, which could be a new city, state or country. Experiencing unique food items, different ways of greeting people, novel customs, traditions, and languages, etc., contribute to the idea of culture shock.

Let’s say you have lived in a small town your whole life. Now, your job takes you to a big city overseas. In such a situation, you may encounter culture shock. This sudden exposure to a completely different environment, from a small town to a fast-paced city, takes some adjusting. Plus, the culinary scene may be entirely different from your home country, and adapting to life in the new land may seem daunting.

Young and old people experience cultural shocks when they move to another country. For example, people from conservative eastern countries are typically surprised by the outgoing and liberal western world.

Culture Shock – Symptoms

The symptoms of culture shock vary from person to person. Some common ones include:

  • Extreme homesickness
  • Helplessness, sadness, and loneliness
  • Paranoia or depression
  • Loss of focus
  • Eating and sleeping disorders
  • Alcohol or substance abuse

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Stages of Culture Shock

Following are the culture shock stages you may undergo:

Honeymoon stage:

The honeymoon stage is when you feel optimistic about moving to a new land. You feel fascinated by your new life. But after some time, the new life does not seem exciting anymore.

Frustration stage:

The next stage involves frustration, stress and anxiety. Once the honeymoon stage wears out, you start to miss home. Using public transport systems, communicating with peers or even ordering a simple meal can feel mentally taxing. 

Adjustment stage:

As time goes by, you start getting accustomed to your new environment. Communicating with your peers becomes easy. You can navigate your locality better than before. You begin understanding the things around you.

Acceptance stage:

During this stage, you start feeling more comfortable with everything. You adapt to the new culture, mannerisms, food, etc. You can overcome your frustration and grow.

How to deal with Culture Shock?

Dealing with culture shock takes a little effort. Here are some things you should do to overcome it.

  • You should be unbiased towards the new culture.
  • You should make an effort to learn simple greetings.
  • Watch how your peers communicate.
  • Avoid comparing your new surroundings to your home.
  • Do not shy away from seeking help.

Final Note:

When you move to a new place, it is usually for a better life. When the frustration from culture shocks starts to take over your mind, remind yourself of why you moved. One of the reasons you may have moved overseas could be to secure your financial future and look after dependents in India. This, you can do, with NRI bank accounts from DBS Treasures.

At DBS Bank, we make it easy for you to manage your Indian and overseas income sources. You can open our NRE account and NRO account to deposit money or remit funds to India and enjoy a world of benefits.

Long-term financial plans on your mind? Choose DBS Treasures

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*Disclaimer: This article is published purely from an information perspective and it should not be deduced that the offering is available from DBS Bank India Limited or in partnership with any of its channel partners.

The purpose of this blog is not to provide advice but to provide information. Sound professional advice should be taken before making any investment decisions. The bank will not be responsible for any tax loss/other loss suffered by a person acting on the above.