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Handling Culture Shock While Studying Abroad

AIX Spring19 Mpinn Sunset Walk Home

Studying abroad brings along many great things; however, culture shock can make us feel restricted during our time overseas. Many people, including myself, feel that it won’t happen to them, but I can tell you from experience that is not the case! Here are some helpful tips to make sure that culture shock doesn’t keep you from enjoying your experience. 

Distract yourself with events, activities, homework, or friends.

These things can help take your mind off and make you feel like you’re spending your time as you would at home.

Talk it out or journal about how you feel.

I found that writing about how I noticed myself feeling the effects of culture shock each day, helped me get it out of my system and reflect on the differences. Talking with my roommates also helped clarify that we were experiencing similar feelings.

Finally, try to immerse yourself in the local culture and community.

CEA and the university you attend do a great job of constantly providing cultural activities for you to take part in. Making local friends and “doing as the locals do” helps in learning about the culture and making you feel like you belong. Remember, it’s normal to feel culture shock and there are many ways to overcome it. Also, many people to support you at all times!

Mackenzie Pinn is the Spring 2019 CEA MOJO Photographer in Aix-en-Provence, France, and is currently studying at Colorado State University.
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