This applies to most circumstances; whether it is a kid moving to a new neighborhood or an adult migrating to another country, it can still be considered culture shock due to their being placed in a new, unfamiliar environment. But while culture shock is not at all a pleasant experience, it also fades over time. That said, it is this paper’s objective to discuss culture shock, and to suggest solutions to ease/lessen it in light of various causes.
The causes mentioned above are among the most common instances that induce culture shock, but the truth is that it need not be that dramatic. Even something relatively minor, like a child transferring schools or church groups, still counts. A child in such a situation undoubtedly experiences difficulties adjusting to his new environment; what used to be the norm in his old school, or what he had otherwise become accustomed to, may no longer be applicable in his current circumstances. Thus he feels awkward, left out, or even outright maligned for being ‘different’.
In her slideshow presentation, Amanda Mitchener of the Canberra Institute of Technology (2008) describes culture shock as physical and/or emotional discomfort, brought about by one’s transfer to an environment different from that which one has become accustomed to. And as in the aforementioned example, the way of life that one has come to live by may no longer be acceptable or considered normal in that new environment. For instance, Americans are usually brought up to be more liberal and unfettered than those raised in other countries. When they migrate to more conservative countries (such as Saudi Arabia), some of their behavior may end up intriguing, irritating, or even offending others.
Mitchener goes on to describe the stages of culture shock. The first, euphoria, can be likened to a newlywed couple on their honeymoon. Those in such a state are full of wonder and