| Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 2016

Language Translation: Bing | Google
learn travel teach Center for Global Education at UCLA

Culture Shock: Occupational Hazard of Overseas Living

Despite awareness, people find themselves feeling withdrawn in the host nation. Hostility or being critical of the culture and avoiding the host nationals are quite common due to culture shock.

Culture shock describes some of these pronounced reactions when spending time in a different culture. However, everyone does not experience culture shock; but for people who do, recognizing culture shock is necessary before taking appropriate action.

Adjustment to a new culture tends to occur in stages. Initially, in the honeymoon phases, everything is exhilarating and exciting. The sights, sounds, and tastes are new and adventurous. At first, there may be more similarities between the host country and the U.S. than differences.

After some time, you realize more of the differences as your initial enthusiasm has drifted away and now have entered the irritability/hostility state. But be patient because these symptoms disappear with time as you experience the gradual adjustment state. Lastly, in the adaptation state, you recognize and accept other cultures while maintaining your own cultural identity. During this stage, there is a better understanding of oneself and others across the cultural barriers.

Taken from Kohls, R. (1979) Survival Kit for Overseas Living, chapter 18 Culture Shock: Occupational Hazard of Overseas Living. Intercultural Press, Yarmouth, MN. p. 91-100 as cited in – Read about Culture Shock


We welcome any questions, feedback, or suggestions you may have regarding this website or other resources. Please contact us.