Lost, confused and wondering where I am: Culture shock and how to overcome it

Culture shock – we’ve all had it. That bizarre feeling of disorientation and confusion we experience when we’re faced with a way of life that is completely different to our own.

We sit excitedly through the journey, enter foreign territory, gather our first impressions, and then it hits us – like a basketball in the face.

It doesn’t matter how much research we do before we leave our hometown, culture shock will always be there to greet us when we set foot into new territory. Nor does it matter if the country we’re visiting speaks the same language as us – something is bound to be different.

Culture shock can last from a few days to a few years. Photo credit: Pexels

Asya Gadzheva and Stoyan Minkov, both 21, moved halfway across the continent from Bulgaria to embark on a full time three-year degree in London.

“It took me a long while to get used to the transport and education system over here,” says Stoyan, while Asya admits it was the biggest obstacle she’s had to face.

In the following podcast, Asya and Stoyan share their honest experiences of culture shock and how they eventually overcame this prolonging phase.

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Putting it into perspective…

Culture shock ultimately helps us to understand more about ourselves, and the world around us in an entirely new light. While it’s rarely a friendly encounter, it’s also a reminder of diversity and creates global awareness. Despite London being such a multicultural, metropolitan city, going abroad and physically witnessing different lifestyles is rewarding in ways like no other.

Words and audio: Jessica Kwan | Subbing: Jenny Lee

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