Culture shock

Culture shock refers to anxiety and confusion that affects individuals after exposure to alien culture. Culture shock can be experienced near an individuals backyard or across the world due to diversity that exists between different cultures. As a result of globalization, many people travel abroad to study and work. The alienation feeling created by culture shock can affect the individual’s intercultural communication.  People can experience culture shock in varying degree due to ethic differences as well as the customs, social relations and behavioral patterns that need to be replaced by another set that may seem not familiar to people.

Culture shock can result in psychological anxiety, depression and emotional instability. In severe situations, cultural shock may result in a wide range of physical and physiological diseases, and worse case results in mental problems.  Cultural shock may result in multicultural conflicts within society as it leads to cultural loss to unfamiliar cultural setting.  There exist various factors that affect cultural shock which includes previous experiences from other cultures, individual reactions, and cross-cultural adaptation.  The degree by which one’s culture differs from the host culture can create challenges in accessing social support networks for an individual thus revealing psychological effects.

In illustrating the issue of cultural shock, international students play a curial role in host countries through revealing the effect of culture shock.  This group of students may take a lot of time to adjust to the cultural values and norms of the host country, and in a greater extent, they may experience challenges while interacting with the natives.  However, as they continue to learn, they find themselves fully adjusted to the cultural systems of the host country thus reducing the impact of culture shock. In a nutshell, globalization continues to create culture shocks as a result of the integration of different diversities.