For some students, moving to a foreign country can sometimes be very tiring. Being placed in a new environment usually requires time to adjust and can cause extreme longing for the country of origin known as “culture shock”.
Usually, students who experience culture shock are those who are still unstable in adapting. The condition of the environment, especially campuses and classes that are not as expected, is known to be one of the factors causing culture shock symptoms.
There are 4 phases:
- The honeymoon phase, A stage where you will feel happy when you arrive in a new country, especially if you’ve never visited before.
- The crisis phase, There is too much difference in a new country that does not fit well with you. For example, the food, the accent is difficult to understand, and feel lonely. It only makes you feel isolated from the environment. But you will get through it soon if you are able to adjust well.
- The adjustment phase, you have begun to be able to interact with the environment in a new country.
- Bi-cultural phase, You feel comfortable living with two cultures at once. You have made it through a small natural selection. But there are also students who worship foreign cultures so much that when they return to their own country, they feel alienated. For this reason, there must be a balance between understanding culture without leaving our identity.
These are things that need to be done before moving to the destination country.
Before moving to Australia, do your research well. The best way is to read a guidebook about Australia, ask people who have lived there, browse the internet, and most importantly do not imagine living there as we always watch on film or television. The dream might be different from reality.
Also find out about culture, habits, sports that are popular in the destination country to the topic of daily speech and body language. One more thing you need to know is the sense of humor in the destination country, do not let yourself offend friends in that country.
Upon arrival in Australia, immediately get to know local life and know important places such as post offices, shops, doctors and international student service offices. All of that, of course, will not run smoothly if you are afraid and anxious about the new environment.
If you still experience culture shock, how to avoid depression due to culture shock? Arm yourself with these positive steps:
Involve yourself in the local community
Feelings of culture shock can often be overcome by involving themselves in local communities. Many of the activities that you enjoy at home can be found here – whether it’s joining a club or sports team, participating in events, visiting museums, finding voluntary projects or just taking a walk in the sun.
Engage in social activities
Making friends with international students and other local residents will help you feel more at home. International students will be able to understand what you are going through and provide advice on how to deal with it, while local residents will help you develop a deeper understanding of the culture and country of study.
Get advice from your supervisor
Universities usually have prepared teams that are tasked with providing ongoing support, encouragement, and advice throughout your studies from related industries during their first semester with the aim of keeping students well connected, engaged and motivated in their learning.
Feel your new environment
By living in a new country, students will have access to some of the most interesting and beautiful destinations in the country. Exploring the city and surrounding area will help you familiarize yourself with your new home and create lasting memories.
Do a hobby
It’s easy to continue your old hobby in a new home. Staying busy will help you express yourself in creative ways and divert attention away from your worries. Learning new hobbies or skills will also help to reduce the culture shock experienced.
Stay connected with family
It has never been easier to keep in touch with family and friends at home, whether it’s via email, phone calls, messages or blogs. Take time to share your experiences and problems with loved ones; it will make a big difference.
Looking for free counseling services
Don’t be shy to talk about your feelings. Students usually have access to free and confidential counseling services where you can discuss the study and non-study related issues such as the transition to life in a new country. Appointments can be face to face on campus or by telephone.
Have an open mind
Don’t automatically see something different being the “wrong” thing. Non-judgmental like this will allow you to be an objective observer and will make the process of understanding the new culture easier.
Write down things you liked when you first arrived
If we just arrive at a place, usually we will enjoy the beauty of that place and be happy about it. But after staying long enough, that feeling can fade. By writing down the beautiful things you found when you first arrived, you can read them again later when you begin to feel unhappy with a new place. Here you can get a little inspiration or enlightenment.
Look for healthy interlude activities
Take time for yourself. You can watch TV or cook your favorite Indonesian food. You may feel tired with the new place, normal. Make sure you can look for healthy interlude activities that you can do to stay uplifting.
Try to learn the language there
Learning a new language has many advantages. You can get to know the culture there, it can be closer to new friends and it will definitely be easier for you to adapt to your new life there. And if you return to Indonesia later, this new language will still be a skill you can be proud of.
Look for a sense of stability
After staying somewhere long enough, you will finally understand how to operate there. You know where you need to go, what to do, and how to get what you want. This means you have adapted. Find that stability so you can feel success in adapting to a new culture.