Going Abroad: How to deal with Culture Shock? | Michael Kimmig | Skillshare

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Going Abroad: How to deal with Culture Shock?

teacher avatar Michael Kimmig, Intercultural Trainer and Coach

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Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (21m)
    • 1. Going Abroad: Dealing with Culture Shock | Welcome & Intro

    • 2. What is Culture Shock?

    • 3. Acculturation: The Process of Transition

    • 4. Acculturation: The 4 Stages of Transition

    • 5. How to recognise Culture Shock

    • 6. Dealing with Culture Shock

    • 7. Experience with Culture Shock | Class Project

    • 8. Sum up & Closing

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About This Class

"Living Abroad 101: How to deal with Culture Shock?" walks you through the process of transition entering a new country or cultural context in order to live and work abroad. 


Living and working in another culture is a challenge, especially in the beginning!

Have you ever felt lost in another country, not having any idea what is going on around you and people and culture throw you off balance. If this sounds familiar, you probably experienced what is called a culture shock.


Who is this class for?

This course is for anyone who is (or is about to be) living and working abroad: travellers, students, volunteers, expatriates, entrepreneurs, global nomads as well as their partners and kids.


What’s in this class?

We are going to explore culture shock. We will have a closer look at experiences connected with culture shock and explore theories, models and practical experience that help to understand culture shock better.


What’s in it for you? What will you learn?

At the end of this course you will be able to manage the transition from the familiar into the new / unknown more easily and successfully. You will find that you are not only more effective in what you do, but you will be able to see living and working abroad as an opportunity to learn something new about the other culture as well as your own.


Class Outline

  1. Going Abroad: Dealing with Culture Shock
  2. What is Culture Shock?
  3. The Process of Transition
  4. The 4 Stages of Transition
  5. How to recognise Culture Shock
  6. Dealing with Culture Shock
  7. Experience with Culture Shock | Class Project
  8. Sum up & Closing

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Michael Kimmig

Intercultural Trainer and Coach


My name is Michael Kimmig. I work as an intercultural trainer and coach.

I am fascinated by the various journeys individuals take when they change course and manage all kinds of transitions: going abroad to another country or working in an interculturally mixed team, entering into a new personal or professional life, changing the living or working context, etc. 

International Voluntary Service and International Youth Work are in the centre of my personal and professional everyday life. Since 2000 I have been living and working in a foreign country. Both in work and private life, I keep changing between different work contexts and cultures.

I help people develop intercultural awareness and competence. I write about Living and Working abroad, Internationa... See full profile

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1. Going Abroad: Dealing with Culture Shock | Welcome & Intro: living and working in another country is a challenge, especially in the beginning. Have you stayed for a longer time abroad as a student, volunteer, expat or traveler? Have you studied a worked in another country? Do you travel the world? Then you surely remember moments when it did not know what is going on around you when you lost your compass. I'm glad you're here. My name is Mikhail I workers An intercultural trainer and coach. What? In 18 years now I'm living in another country and help other people to do the same. Going abroad and settling down in a new culture, working in a different cultural context and developing intercultural awareness and competence to do so. I will go with you through this glass, focusing on three questions. What is culture shock? What are the different stages of transition toe another culture and how to deal with Carter ? At the end of this class, you will understand and recognize culture shock, identify the stages of transition and no helpful strategies to overcome cultural 2. What is Culture Shock?: What is culture focus? Let's start with experience from travelers and exchange students. The level of filth everywhere was worse than I imagined. The constant noise off traffic and the strange habit of honking is so wearing. As the novelty wore off, I came to find how isolated I waas. It's hard not to feel depressed. I had a very active life in my own country, and I never felt lonely here. I'm reduced to an invisible human being that does not fit in anywhere. So what is culture shock? Arriving in a new, unknown country, you experienced lots of unexpected things, starting from different climate conditions, new things to see, hear, taste and smell until varieties ways off new expressions and behavior. Not all of this experience is exciting, very diverse and unfamiliar impressions can lead to confusion, irritation and uncertainty. You might feel stressed, easily irritable, powerless and exhausted. You might miss your home family and friends, and you would like to board the first plane to get away. Transition into another culture is stressful and may resolve in a culture shock. Unlike a shock, meaning a sudden, upsetting or surprising event or experience culture shock is a longer lasting transition at the beginning of a longer stay abroad. Travelers, tourists, expats, exchange students, volunteers, migrants, they all have made different experiences with culture shock. Coming to his experience is the challenge to adjust to a new unknown cultural environment. The following definition states free things first, the feelings off irritation and uncertainty which come along with losing orientation and stability. Second, the unknown and unfamiliar context you're confronted with and food the lack of preparation for the situation. The term contra shock was first introduced by the intra palla gist Deborah in 51 made more popular and famous by color or back in 1960. Connected to culture shock are a few terms we need to understand. Intercultural irritations include everything that seems strange and uneasy, for example, individual and cultural differences in behavior and communication. How everyday life and working together is organized as well as the underlying believes and values a corporation is the process off familiarizing yourself with the new cultural context. It is a process off learning adjustment and transition. Diving into the unknown causes a lot of stress. That's why this process can be a quite exhausting experience. The peak off. This process is called culture shock. When the irritations become rampant and acculturation stress is overwhelming. And finally, you'll find culture shock as a medical term among adjustment disorders. In extreme cases, being exposed to an alien culture can lead to negative changes in the state of mind or disturbances and social behavior. The new difficult situation cannot be accepted, and it is not possible to adjust to the new life situation here. Carter truck is seen as a disease. Some older definitions off culture shock refer to that. Today we see Carter shot more as a temporary loss of orientation and stability as a normal stage in a transition process into another culture, a process that offers a great chance for learning and personal growth. Mastering this challenge develops our ability to successfully live and work abroad. 3. Acculturation: The Process of Transition: in this video On the following one, I will describe the process of transition to another country. The transition process is called acculturation. It's more than just adjusting toe another culture. It is a process off learning and change, and the last several months, minimum caliber. Albert was the first researcher who described the process of transition you saw controversial as a crisis. You have to overcome adapting to the new cultural environment. This adaptation process consists of four stages. The honeymoon, a moment off excitement annoy Fauria right after arriving, followed by the culture shock stage. The peak off the acculturation stress after this crisis follows a longer process off adjustment, the stage of learning and adapting to the new culture, which leads finally to the stage of stability, where we are regaining our orientation uncertainty and found our place in the new culture. In the original version, this process has a typical form over you. The reality, of course, is much more complicated. I show you for examples from a training course with volunteers coming to Poland. You see, the curves differ very much from one another. The highs and lows diverge in their intensity, but also in their frequency, and there is no guarantee in which older the stages may appear. These differences reflect very diverse experiences and challenges people face, but also the diversity of people. It's also reflects the different capacity in dealing with culture, shock, experience or differences in the ability to learn new behaviors and adjust quickly to new environments. What you can be sure about is that the transition process is not a smooth path. It's more like a bumpy road full of emotional ups and downs. Remember, culture shock is unpredictable. It may occur, or it may no, and it affect everyone off us differently. 4. Acculturation: The 4 Stages of Transition: What are the stages of culture for? Let's have a closer look at the different stages of transition. This will allow you a deeper inside intercultural what is characteristic for each stage. The arrival in a new place often arouses every positive feelings. Everything is new, exciting and interesting. You're flooded with new impressions and experiences, starting from landscapes and architecture to climate, food and drinks. Encounters with new people. You've got to practice some new words in a new language. Learn and practice some new ways of behavior and communication, and you might meet new freedoms abroad. In short, in the honeymoon stage you're interested in and fascinated by the other culture, you experience your stay as a very for IQ and exciting time. And mostly you treat cultural differences. Something positive and interesting in short stays abroad. However, from a couple of days to a few weeks, this stage can last the whole time off. Your stay and therefore culture shock can be easily avoided, one off The first signs of cultural come along with climate differences. Additionally, organizing your everyday life may be challenging and contact with locals might be difficult due to language barriers or lack of knowledge about the A new culture. Irritations and misunderstandings are piling up. Behaviors and characteristics off the other cultures are confusing. There's a general lack of orientation. The new satisfaction decreases and the general mood gets worse. This orientation makes you feel helpless, and you disengage with locals and local culture in the stage of shock or crisis. You could easily tired physically, intellectually and emotionally. You experience yourself often uncomfortable, troubling situations, which create great discomfort, lack of orientation and tensions. And you tend to see cultural differences as negative blocking for a friend. As a consequence, yourself, his team is going down. You like control and tend to avoid contact with the other culture. The stage of adjustment is a process of learning and growing. You start to understand your own and others behaviors and ways of thinking. Step by step, your master misunderstandings and communication traps. You can communicate, better, meet new people and feel better. You compare cultural orientations, values and behaviors with each other. In the stage off adaptation, you're regaining control over your actions. You rediscover advantages and positive sides in the other culture, and you become more aware off and understand more and more about cultural differences. As a result, you accept that the other culture is different. A lot of it is norms and values occur to be acceptable. You pick up things from the new culture, while at the same time you see yourself and your own culture differently. In the fourth and final stage, stability is achieved. You found your lost compass again. The foreign culture has become familiar to you. Orientation and ability to act are restored. Many values and behaviors are valued and adopted advantages and disadvantages off ones own . As Vela's theater cultures are estimated realistically, in the stage of stabilization, you adopt and improve your communication and problem solving skills, your experience, stability and security in your actions in both cultures and your valuable cultural differences as a personal and professional enrichment. Mastering this final stage means you broaden your skills and abilities. You're more flexible in adjusting to new situations and cultures without giving up your own beliefs and values. In some ways, living abroad provokes experimenting with new attitudes and behaviors. In descends culture shock is a very powerful and personal form off learning 5. How to recognise Culture Shock: How can you recognize culture shock now that we know the transition stages, I give you a summary of possible signs and symptoms. Physical stress reactions, for example, headache, tiredness, difficulties concentrating. You also might be excessively concerned about cleaning nous and health. Strong emotions such as frustration, fear, anger, sadness that can easily turn into irritability or Overreactions. The feeling of helplessness and powerlessness because you might think you cannot cope with the new situation. Excessive or greatly reduced eating and drinking, which may result in weight gain or weight loss. The feeling that the members off the new cultures reject you. Withdrawal and isolation. You reduce or avoid having contact with locals, which leads into loneliness, stereotyping off the other culture and hostility towards theater culture. Generally, you're confused about your own feelings, your own identity and expectations off address towards you. This list is not exhaustive, and finding yourself in culture shock does not mean that you meet all of the above mentioned. Remember, culture shock is a very individual experience and depends heavily on the situation 6. Dealing with Culture Shock: Now that we understand better what culture shock is, we can answer our first question. How to deal with culture shock. You're seven. Practical tips Remember, culture shock is normal, and going through culture shock is a necessary part off the transition process. Many have already gone for similar experiences, and they all managed to overcome cultural. Going through a culture shock takes time. You need to be patient understanding. Getting to know new people and getting involved in local culture takes a lot of time. Give yourself the time you need to adjust. Observe, look around and listen. There's a lot to learn from other people. Address uncertainties and ask for explanations. What seems weird to you is normal from the other cultural perspective. Also, talk about the impact of controversial make new friends. New relationships, seeks support. It is important to resist the tendency to pull back and isolate Connect with locals. Even if you feel otherwise, try out new things is applies to food and clothing activities, but also to behaviors and communication. Both personal and professional life develop initiative. It is not possible to make no mistakes in another culture, take risks and open yourself. But a new cultural experiences. If we change perspective, how can you support others, overcoming cultural, spend some time with them and reflect the experiences gained? Help the other person to question their own experiences and correct them if necessary. Support the other person to become aware off his or her boundaries of tolerance and his Her rules of living and working together make it clear that difficulties in orientation and feeling unstable are normal in a foreign cultural environment. Provide emotional support and help with cultural interpretations. Encouraged self initiative activities and promote engagement with everyday life. Encourage others to try new things and explored a new culture. Someone who can help you. Opening some doors to the new culture is a cultural translator. She can support you in the transition process and help you understand the other culture. Better, she translate not language but cultural meanings and codes that are necessary to navigate food, a new cultural environment. Anyone can take such a role, but usually people who have been abroad and have gun themselves through culture shock are most supporter because they know what it's like and people have experience abroad, learn to see their own culture from outside, which helps them to explain their culture to you. A good starting point for conversations, maybe cultural irritations. Did you experience abroad? They're usually related to cultural meanings and values. The task off the cultural translator is the question is experience and, if necessary, to correct your perception, it is important to ask what is the irritation? What lies behind this irritation? What are the important cultural, situational or individual aspect that cause them pissing off course it is. 7. Experience with Culture Shock | Class Project: What's your experience with culture shock? One finger. It helps a lot of people reflecting and digesting culture. Shock experience is writing. Some write their family and friends. Others are clearing their mind, writing a diary and still others, maybe Publisher Block Post. I would like to invite you to share your experience here as a class project. So what's your experience of culture shock? Write a short story about your own culture shock experience. Connect your personal experience, toe culture shock on the model of transition and highlight practical things that helped you in that situation to overcome or deal with culture. Some questions to get started. What was the situation like? What was the cultural irritation about who was involved in that situation? What else should we know about the context off the situation? What title would you give you? A story and what is your take away? Your insight, your recommendation for others 8. Sum up & Closing: now we reached the end of our journey at the end of this class. You understand and recognize culture for you learned about the transition process called a cultural ization, and are able to identify the different stages off adjusting to new cultural environment and , you know, helpful strategies to overcome culture shock. And you brought your own experience on paper, relating it to the model of culture shock on acculturation which helped you understand better your own transition process on personal learning. Congratulations. So where are you heading next? Moving abroad. Traveling, going back home. I would like to finish maybe with a quote from a volunteer culture. Folk is a normal reaction. First of all, you will miss your home and comfort zone. But later you will adapt and will be amazed discovering and learning something totally new every day. Thanks for watching and see you