What is Culture Shock?
All new immigrants go though a process of adjustment when entering a new country; immigrants entering into a new culture may have additional challenges which include learning about the new host culture.
What is culture?
- the beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time.
- a particular society that has its own beliefs, ways of life, art, etc.
- a way of thinking, behaving, or working that in exists in a place or an organization
Many new immigrants will face culture shock; culture shock is a feeling of disorientation after being placed into a foreign setting. Signs of culture shock may include:
- a change in mood and behaviour
- feelings of depression, sadness, irritability, homesickness, isolation
- poor sleeping and eating habits
The Honeymoon Stage – After first arriving to a new place, you’ll likely be positive, curations, caught up in all the excitement, and the wonderful things Canada has to offer. In this stage, you are more likely to recognize cultural similarities and be charmed by the differences.
The Frustration Stage – Over time, the excitement will pass and you’ll be dissatisfied. You’ll get mad at the “disorganization” of things. You’ll become overwhelmed with all the differences and the things you have to adjust to. You may feel impatient, angry or be inclined to make things go “your way”.
The Adjustment Stage – You’ll start to feel familiar and comfortable. You’ve come to terms with your new home and have achieved a balance of emotions. You’re understanding of differences with the culture, food, and surroundings. You’ll start to have a positive outlook, will have an interest in learning more about Canada, and will make more of an effort to fit in.
The Adaptation Stage – In this final stage you’ve reached a level of comfort in your new home. You now accept and understand the customs, habits and cultural differences.
Cultural shock is a natural part of cross-cultural experiences and everyone experiences it. People will move through each stage very differently, for this reason it is important to embrace your transition.