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Culture Shocks

Posted on January 28th, 2009 by Laura Herrejón

We always think or kind of prepare ourselves to the changes we may encounter when we face a different atmosphere than the one we are used to. Well, I have to say that for me, even after one year and a half of living in a different country, I am still not used to the changes of weather, or how to manage my money very well in dollars coming from using another currency my entire life. There are many things that can give us cultural shocks, but it is up to us whether to make it a big shock or a small one.
I know that changing schools was a big thing for me, it helped me to be stronger and open towards meeting new people, but sometimes it feels like everybody is already in a group making it harder for someone else to go in. But, it is not as hard. Actually many people knowing that you are from another country feel curiosity about your origins, and sometimes even see you as exotic.
Another thing that can provoke a shock in us is the dramatic change of weather. These last couple of days, there was an ice-snow storm which was going to be the biggest in 15 years in the state of Missouri. It was literally raining ice, and you could hear sounds outside the window like little pieces of rocks hitting it, of course it was the ice. It started accumulating to the point where the University had to shut down for two days, and it didn’t help that after the ice storm it started snowing.
As international students, sometimes we can find obstacles but hey, anyone can beat them and overcome them to make of studying abroad an unforgettable experience.

11 Responses to “Culture Shocks”

  1. apollo singh Says:

    Studying abroad gives a wide exposure because of cultural differences. Your career opportunities become wider as you have an option to work in the foreign country, as well as come back home. Though there are many obstacles you face from adjusting personal necessities to getting accustomed with the culture. Being an Indian student I’m so used to by heart things and write it down on a notebook time and again. The Indian way of studying is very ‘bookish’ unlike in US; studies are based more on case studies and practical learning. It’s more of fun and interesting. Trawling through the net I came across this site . Global education initiatives India offers a program that will prepare Indian students for graduate studies in the US. It’s a good exposure for Indian students who’d never been to abroad and planning to go.

  2. Shahusainy Says:

    ice-snow storm?oh God,that must be quite scary, isnt it? i’ve never experienced any bad disaster so far here in my country – Malaysia =)

  3. Laura Herrejón Says:

    Dear Apollo,

    You’re absolutely right; studying abroad changes you in ways that you never thought of. In fact, through coming to the US I realized that my goal in life was going to be a Psychologist and not an Accountant. A good thing about studying in the United States is that you have general education credits and that helps a lot while you discover what you want to do. In Mexico, you have to choose which area to study in since the beginning of college. If I would have changed my major in Mexico, I would have had to start all over, while here I may even still graduate a semester earlier.
    Thank you for your comment!


  4. Laura Herrejón Says:

    Dear Shahusainy,

    The ice storm was crazy! I mean, it took me and my boyfriend about 2 hours to take the ice out… just crazy! it was definitely something I had never experienced in Mexico. I have to say I miss my hometown in Mexico, the temperature is about 23′ degrees celcius = 73′ degrees Farenheit. It is not humid, and if it ever gets a litle cold, a light sweater should be enough. Oh I miss my Mexico!

    How is Malaysia in terms of weather?


  5. Monica S. Says:

    Hi! 😀
    I happened to look at your blog and I have to say that I love your style of writing! 🙂 I can definitely relate to your experiences. As a matter of fact, I was born in South Korea but lived in Canada and the U.S. for a majority of my life. Your right, when it come to changing schools, it is difficult to open up to everyone and make new friends, knowing that you will have to separate with them when the time comes. However, I enjoyed every moment at my new schools with my friends. Anyways, I just wanted to say that I love your blog and you just got yourself a subscriber! 🙂 Yay!

  6. Laura Herrejón Says:


    Thank you for all your great comments! I am so glad you wil be following my blog! Yes, as you say it can be difficult knowing that some friends will not be there for a long time, but what about the ones that do? People always cross our pathways, and sometimes that can seem endless, but what about the ones that makred that difference in our lives? Those are the ones that even from the distance will remain close to us! Thank you for your comment!

    Laura Herrejon

  7. Betty Odak Says:

    I am glad you have shared about culture shock. I came to the US as an adult and thought I would be able to blend it without struggle. Culture shock was more than I could imagine or bear. Will share in detail at a later date.


  8. raymond mbuyi Says:

    I am in the usa since three months only and I haven’t really experienced the change of weather yet.
    For me the biggest problem was the clash of cultures. Has an african, the relation with african american(our thoughts on them, them thoughts on us). Mens behavior toward wimen.
    From all of that, what I’ve learned is not to judge people, not to consider superior to others people but to consider all people equal and particular and to look for what you have in common more than what separate you.

  9. Laura Herrejón Says:

    I completely agree with you. I have come to realize that the fact of actually treating others like you want to be treated does work and it brings good things to wherever you live. It is hard not to judge sometimes, but the effort is completely worth it.
    Thank you for your insight!

  10. Matchless Magazine Says:

    Read this article about national sterotypes:

    Thanks for your feedback!

  11. Reinaldo Helin Says:

    Another Great post, I will bookmark this in my account. Have a good evening.

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