Culture Shock is the strange feeling of disorientation you can feel when you’ve left a familiar environment for somewhere completely and totally different.
Imagine yourself in a strange country, hearing an unfamiliar language, smelling unfamiliar smells, eating strange new foods and being surrounded by faces, sounds and sights that are nothing like home. Add jetlag and you can end up feeling very odd indeed.
Culture shock isn’t uncommon and can cause all sorts of symptoms, depending on how resilient you are.
Culture Shock Symptoms
- Excitement and euphoria during the first day or two of your visit
- Difficulty adjusting to new surroundings, resulting in withdrawal or boredom
- Feelings of helplessness and isolation
- Over-sleeping and fatigue
- Irritation over delays or unfamiliar customs
- Various undefined body pains
Dealing with Culture Shock
- Spend as much time as you can reading up on the country or countries you plan to visit, and do it well before your departure date so you’re prepared
- Try to learn as much as possible of the language. Carry a dictionary and make yourself familiar with the sound of the words so they’re not as foreign-sounding when you arrive
- Study the environs of the city and region where you will be working and staying
- Learn about local customs and things that might be inappropriate, such as smiling at strangers, wearing too few clothes or tipping where it isn’t expected
- Find out about your destination’s history, culture and architecture before you leave
Culture Shock passes…
It is important to remember that Culture Shock is usually temporary. The best way to recover from its effects is to relax and enjoy your new surroundings.
If you make time for a visit to one of our Travel Clinics in London well in advance you can talk to us about any concerns you might have as well as update your travel vaccinations and take care of any prescription renewals.