Culture Shock and Homesickness

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Culture shock refers to the feelings of confusion and uncertainty that you experience when you come into contact with a new culture.

It may be helpful to discuss your feelings with your school counsellor, teacher, parents or homestay parents.

Stages of culture shock may include:

1. Arrival and First Impressions
You will be excited to be in a new environment and most things will seem interesting and wonderful.

2. Culture Shock
You may start to miss your friends, family and everything that was familiar. You may become less optimistic if you find it difficult to make friends and communicate in English all the time. This may cause you to feel depressed (i.e., sad and lonely) and want to go home. This is a normal reaction for many people and will pass.

3. Recovery and Optimism
You start to feel better because you are getting used to school in B.C. and making friends. You feel more confident about fitting in at school. You become more familiar with the neighbourhood and community around your homestay.

4. Acculturation (Adjustment)
You adjust to your new surroundings and can balance the new culture with your own culture. You can appreciate what the new experience is bringing to you.

Remember that culture shock and homesickness are normal to experience. Getting involved in school teams, clubs, and extracurricular activities can help get over these feelings.

Learn about cultural differences in B.C.