Oberg highlighted six elements of culture shock. One is strain as a result of the effort needed to make essential psychological adaptations. Second is the sense of loss and feelings of deficiency with regards to profession, status, friends and possessions. The third element of culture shock entails being rejected and/or rejecting members of new cultures. Fourthly is the confusion in terms of role, role expectations, feelings, self identity and values. Fifthly is the anxiety, surprise and even disgust and resentment, after becoming cognizant of cultural differences. The last aspect is the feeling of helplessness as a result of the inability to handle the new environment.
When living in a new environment, a student or sojourner goes through the following stages of cultural adjustment (Becker & Bhugra, 2005, p 18). Source: Becker & Bhugra, 2005, 19 Honeymoon This is the initial stage that a sojourner experiences at the commencement of the contact. The stage is characterized by fascination, euphoria, excitement and enthusiasm. Travelers experience positive attitude as similarities are considered as comfort, whilst differences are observed with interest. Crisis/hostility/ irritation This is the culture shock stage that is characterized by feelings of anxiety, inadequacy, hostility and frustration.
The jubilation of the foreign and out of the ordinary has ended, and the traveler must face veracity. The manifestation of the “ailment” culture shock sets in. Recovery This is the stage where an individual takes steps to counter and get out of the crisis stage. An individual starts to comprehend the new culture and create a comfort zone. Nervousness and anxiety starts diminishing as the unfamiliar becomes familiar. Culture learning and crisis resolution result in evolution of a sojourner’s action from artificial to natural.
A student learning overseas may experience difficulties at the initial stage of transition when there are numerous changes to cope with, as well as inadequate resources to cater for the transition (Pedersen, 1995, p 8). The complete adjustment/biculturalism This is the last stage of cultural transition when an individual starts to feel at home in the new country and acknowledge that there are numerous things a student will miss when they go home. When allowed enough time, a student may adapt fully and be in a position to function equally in both cultures.
A sojourner or a student in a foreign nation ought to be sentient to the two dip associated with culture.
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