Cross cultural adjustment and culture entry model

Causes of culture shock
  • Moving from theory to practice    reality strikes on the field
  • The loss of familiar cues
  • Loss of identity
  • Lack of familiar support system
  • Change in climate
  • Loss of language/communication skills
  • Loss of routine
Symptoms of culture shock
  • Homesickness (missing family, friends, longing to be 'home')
  • Withdrawal (stay by yourself, don't talk very much)
  • Physical symptoms, e.g., excessive sleeping
  • Discomfort and frustration
  • Feeling helpless and vulnerable
  • Loneliness
  • Conflict (arguments, disagreements)
  • Illness (become sick easily or often feel sick)
  • Loss of effectiveness (lack of energy, disorientation, inability to focus or retain information)
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Boredom
  • Crying
  • Bitterness
  • Resentment
  • Depression
  • Over-identification with the host culture
  • Compulsive behavior (eat too much, drink too much, etc.)
  • Irritability (become angry easily, no peace, stereotyping    making value judgments about a people or culture)
  • Self-doubt, lowered self-esteem
When you first get to your host country, write yourself a note – "Am I experiencing culture shock?"
Then tape it on your bathroom mirror. When you feel down, read it and answer the question.

I felt completely and utterly stranded. As the mother of a twelve-week newborn and her two-year-old sister, I was far too busy to learn how to speak Polish, yet here I was with my spouse in Poland. An American city girl born and bred, I was now living on a farm. Completely dependent on my husband's linguistic abilities, I was often alone for weeks at a time while he traveled on business for which we had relocated in the first place.