If you are chosen for the EVS project, you will definitely face with one thing: moving to another country.
It may be an amazing, sad or super cool experience for you – it depends on the personality. But, in any case, you will need some time to get used to the stage in your life.
When you start living in another country, everything is different for you: culture, traditions food. You start exploring people, their values and country. You feel so excited but sometimes you feel that you super miss your country.
It is called culture shock.
A dictionary says that culture shock is “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”.
You will experience 4 stages of the culture shock: honeymoon, frustration, adjustment and acceptance.
This stage is usually super positive. You move to a new country, meet lots of new people and your life is changing so quickly.
Every day you get to know more and more about the traditions and customs. And you understand that life here is completely different and much better! You feel so excited and embarrassed cause every day is special and full of emotions.
This is one of the most difficult stages when you start noticing all unlucky things that are happening in your life. Even losing the keys or a simple argument may become a very serious reason for sadness.
You feel home sickness and that you want to come back. You have to overcome this stage, to meet new people and try not to think about home.
This is a period when you are getting used to the life in a foreign country. You have friends already, you are more familiar with the culture and life in a new country.
“Because I was in Turkey for six months in a study abroad setting, acclimating to my new environment was sped up due to all of the resources I was able to access. However, I found that the best way to understand my new environment was to ask questions and learn to respect the culture in the way it currently exists. The local Turkish people seemed much more accommodating when I showed genuine interest in their customs, rather than obviously being an American who was uncomfortable with her new situation. I also found myself asking my Turkish roommates what was okay to do, not okay to do, where to go and where not to go, so I was able to adjust to my environment more quickly.” — Kate Riley, marketing and communications intern.
The final stage of culture shock is acceptance. You understand more or less how life is going in the country and you start accepting all the processes going on.
How much does every period last? Well, it is up to the personality and the way you can perceive everything going on.
Just enjoy your time and say “No” to the home sickness!
By Daria Babik