Practical tips and strategies for coping with culture shock
- Realize that culture shock is normal.
- Be patient. Don't be frustrated. Understanding a different culture takes time.
- Talk about difficulties when they arise. Ask people to explain their behavior or what they mean.
- Talk to other foreign students or friends about the effects of culture shock.
- Make new friends. Get to know different people.
- Try out new things – food, clothes etc.
- Do things on your own or with friends. Make your own suggestions. Take risks. Be open for new cultural experiences.
- Learn to give and to receive generously of your own and others' thoughts, feelings and experiences.
- Observe, look around, listen.Observe the body-language of the culture you're living in.
- Missing the gestures of friendship and goodwill that you are used to can be disappointing and frustrating.
- Don't think you must or should be liked and accepted by everyone, everywhere.
- Seek social acceptance and support where you live and work, not elsewhere.
- Find your own 'islands of wellbeing': some place or thing that makes you feel good – your newspaper from home, a park or art gallery etc.
- Think positive thoughts. Avoid negative thinking.
- Keep a diary. Write down your experiences, both good and bad.
- to take more notice of written agreements, contracts, signatures, regulations;
- to respect people's privacy in Germany;
- to relativize your natural tendency to cooperate and to avoid confrontation – adapt your cultural instincts to the individual situation;
- to regularly make the 'right' compliments.
- Realize that relations with German people (both individually and in groups) are often brief, superficial, and purpose-oriented.
- Realize that in Germany rank and status are defined according to achievement, not by family and background.
Source: I. Zavhorodnya (2010). ZSB-Training, Kulturschock und Heimweh - "Was kann ich tun, um mich besser zu fühlen"
zuletzt bearbeitet am: 16.04.2015