Does cultural shock affects people in the same way?

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  • Publicado : 11 de diciembre de 2011
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To talk about cultural shock, we should know what culture is; the system of shared beliefs, values, customs, behaviors, and artifacts that the members of society use to cope with their world and with one another, and that are transmitted from generation to generation through learning is called culture. But what happen when we have to share orlive with a different culture? When we choose to go to another country? Are we prepared to face a new culture and all that it carries? I think we all should be prepared before get involved in the adventure of a new culture in order to minimize the effects of the cultural shock. In this project I am going to talk about how the cultural shock affects people, according to the personal experience ofsomeone who is passing through it in this moment, and I want to show that passing through this process is not the same for everyone and neither is a negative experience if we are conscious of what is coming.
The cultural shock has been seen as an illness that a person acquired when move to another country and more if that country is very different from their own, “We might almost call cultureshock an occupational disease of many people who have been suddenly transplanted abroad” (Kalervo Oberg 142), however culture shock should not be seen as disease, instead of it should be seen as an experience that would improve and enrich our lives, for example we can see in the next interview how the cultural shock is making a positive effect in the person who is going through it.
Culture shock hasbeen seen as a special transition period and the accompanying feelings during a period after entering a new culture, and everyone who travels to another country regardless of their reasons, in some point of their stay will have to deal with the cultural shock. The person I had interviewed is a 32 years old psychology who decided to go to Germany for a year to work and study; working in afoundation that take cares of disabled people, she has been there since august, which means that she is facing the cultural shock in this moment, in the interview I asked her about some of the most outstanding differences between Colombian culture and German culture, such as the language, the food, the communication with other people, her first feelings after arriving, and how the people react to thepresence of a foreign person and how has been the treatment that she has received during this time . I made those kinds of questions to try to find out what kind of symptoms of the cultural shock she was experiencing, the way she is dealing with it and also to know about German culture.
The first thing I wanted to know about was what her feelings were once she got there, due to everyone do notexperience the same feelings, the answer I got was that she felt a sense of insecurity and soon she realized that everything was pretty different there, she describes that even the sounds were different and also that everything smells different but despite this she was happy of being there she was excited by the fact that she has to travel by train for a couple of hours a thing she has never donebefore, this can be a little bit related with the first phase of the cultural shock which is the honey moon in the sense that everything for her smell, sound and look different. “When you first arrive in a new culture, differences are intriguing and you may feel excited, stimulated and curious.”(Ukcisa UK council for international student affairs).
The next thing I asked her was, how was being thenew culture adapting process, she told me that it has been a little bit complicate because of the language, because she does not speak German and her English is not enough to have a fluid conversation, which let us in the second phase of the cultural shock that is the rejection phase in this phase feelings of angry appear, people start to have problems with the language, problems to socialize. She...