Coping with culture shock

Many people who travel or live overseas experience what is commonly referred to as “culture shock.”

During the first stage, often described as the "honeymoon," everything you see and do in the country you are visiting is exciting and positive. But in the second stage, known as "culture shock," you can feel a sense of dislocation and general unease. To cope with culture shock, learn to recognize its symptoms:

During the third and final "adjustment" stage, you start to accept your new surroundings and make a compromise between the honeymoon and culture shock phases.

You might also experience “reverse culture shock” after living abroad. Be prepared for a period of readjustment when you return to Canada.

Coping strategies

Probably the best strategy for coping with the various impacts of culture shock is to make a conscious effort to adjust to the new culture. Here are some suggestions on how to make yourself feel more at home in your new surroundings:

Date modified: