Culture Shock

  • It is a distressful emotional reaction to an unfamiliar environment experienced by students who arrive in a foreign culture and linguistic space.
  • The mental shock experienced by international students during the process of adjusting to a foreign country and culture, which may or may not necessarily, be dramatically different from the student's.
  • Initially, it is an emotional reaction to a new environment, which, without intervention,m can progress to become a mental health problem.

Culture Shock Triggers:

  • A sense of loss and feeling of deprivation
  • Emotional strain due to migration
  • Confusion of role and expectations of new culture
  • Disruption in perceived 'Normalcy' associated with student's culture
  • Feeling of powerlessness

Symptoms of Culture Shock include:

  • Feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, helplessness, sadness and worthlessness
  • Loss of identity
  • Irregular eating and sleeping
  • Extreme homesickness
  • Difficulties with concentration, memory, and decision-making

You can learn more about Culture Shock by watching the videos below:

(Acknowledgement: Columbia Business School)

Need help? Contact the Counseling and Wellness Center (Marcus White Hall)

Contact Information

Oluwatoyin Awoderu
Associate Director
International Student & Scholar Services
Associate Director
Center for International Education
Henry Barnard Hall