International Students and Culture Shock
International cooperation plays a vital role in ensuring global growth and development. Towards this goal; countries have developed systems of interaction between different people from all over the world. These efforts have also spread out to the education sector, and are advocating and promoting students exchange programs. These are programs which allow students to visit western countries for a given period of time. Here, they are expected to continue their studies and interact fully with their host countries.
More often than not; students join exchange programs so as to experience not only, a different learning environment but also, to interact with a different culture. Generally, exchange students yearn to be removed from their current situation and allowed to venture into foreign grounds. When international students contemplate what awaits them in the host country, most students are excited and very optimistic about their stay abroad. ” Inge could not wait to leave her boring home life in Europe. In the united states she imagined a much more interesting life for herself” (Hansel, 2007, p. 58). But, as life has it, this does not often last long. This paper seeks to understand the challenges that face international students and find ways of resolving them. When such chalanges are faced, more and more students tend to order write my paper help from a trusted academic web site like ours.
International students are faced with difficulties and many challenges while attempting to fit in and enjoy their newly found status. The excitement over traveling abroad, making new friends, seeing great sights, meeting their host families, is brought down by the realization that, with all these new experiences comes the task of trying to understand and cope with the differences. For some students, the challenges are not many and they might have a smooth experience. However; some students experience major differences, and might find it hard to settle down.
Among all these problems is a major area where most students often find themselves caught in? Culture shock, according to most students’ testimonials is a challenge that they all have faced during their stay abroad. What is culture shock? The concept is based on the idea that encountering any new culture can be a confusing experience (Bochner and Furnham, 2001). In the first weeks after arrival in the host country, foreign students are awed by how much life abroad is not so different from what they have left behind. Due to their excitement, they are highly enthusiastic about learning the different ways of life abroad and are very eager to make friends and learn the foreign languages. Even when they have had difficulties in learning the language before, at his time they become quite optimistic. They cruise through their first weeks still in awe of what is happening around them. More so, at this time the differences that exist between them fail to register in their minds and when they do, they do not create much impact.
Then comes a time when it finally hits them, that everything is not so similar. They start noticing the small differences around them. It is at this point that the foreign students are confused and overwhelmed by the host culture. Culture shock creates anxiety and feelings of inadequacy in the foreign students. At this time you can order custom essay with us and deal with your personal issues. When reality finally sinks in, they even experience physical discomforts like, headaches, insomnia, lack of appetite, stomachaches, among others. Panic over their ability to succeed in the foreign country also manifests itself.
Culture shock is borne out of the many cultural differences. At the forefront; is a difference in language which becomes very problematic especially for those students struggling to learn the host language? Knowledge of the host language is important because it is the biggest tool for communication. Language barriers could cause misunderstandings between foreign students and the many people they are bound to interact with while abroad. However, it is important to note that its major consequence is the foreign students’ failure in class due to their inability to comprehend the language of instruction. When foreign students grasp the context of their differences they end up retracting and shying off from any sort of communication.
Culture shock is also fueled by other factors like diet changes and modes of dressing. Students who are used to conservative dressings will encounter difficulties accepting or even interacting with a host culture which is considered extreme in their ways of dressing. Consequently, this may lead to foreign students limiting their interaction with such a host culture. This conflict of cultures has played a surmountable role in influencing and shaping the lives of foreign students abroad.
Western universities are therefore, faced with the responsibility of creating a conducive environment for foreign students and ensure that they adjust and enjoy their stay in their host country. In regard to culture shock, the host university should come up with departments to handle the foreign students on a one on one basis. They should provide personal assistants to the students to help them in any areas they may experience difficulties. Ordering custom writing will help you to fill in the gap in the language differences. For language differences, the university should be mandated to ensure they provide language learning programs for foreign students to enable them learn the language in a calm, conducive environment without them feeling inadequate or under pressure to measure up. But instead, motivate and reassure them.
Culture learning, which is basically adapting of other cultures by foreign students, should be facilitated by the host universities (Hess, i994, p. 3). Foreign students should be included in their inter cultural events. The key is to make them feel as part of the western community. Undoubtedly so, the success in overcoming challenges faced by foreign students lies in the hands of the host university.