The United States of America has over 2,500 universities, which educate a large number of foreign students every year. The United States is one of the most preferred places to study in the world because it offers you a large number of university and variety programs with world-class facilities. This diversity of American culture helps an international student to adjust to the environment because everyone can find something similar to his country, for example: there are temples, mosques, ethnic restaurants so that one finds a part of his homeland in the USA. To live in a new culture, an Indian student need to learn a new set of cultural patterns and behaviors. It is a challenging procedure and sometimes uncomfortable. To adjust to the US environment, observe things and be prepared to learn, both inside and outside your classroom. Try to communicate with new people, introduce yourself with others, make new friends and discover as much as you can.
This usually happens in the first few days of your visit to the US when you become aware of extreme differences. For example: people dress differently, signs are in a different language, nonverbal behaviors are different, different food habit etc.
Cultural stress is a kind of short-term response. This happens when you begin to respond to the behavior of the new culture. Examples: Trying to drive, shopping, listening to comments about yourself etc.
Cultural shock is a natural, healthy emotional response to the stress of living in a different culture. Your actions may not always be fruitful. Your inability to communicate effectively with others is frustrating. Anxiety, depression, boredom, homesickness, self-doubt is just some of the symptoms of cultural shock.
Requirements for Cultural Adjustment:
- Think that culture shock is a natural process of adjusting to a new culture. Practically everyone living in abroad feels to some extent culture shock, you’re not alone.
- Try to share your thoughts with others. Talk to your fellow international students about your feelings. This will make you feel relaxed.
- Get involved in on-campus activities. This is a great way to connect with new people and help enrich your time in the United States.
- Develop a support system. It can be difficult to stay away from family and friends who usually support you. It is important to connect with others who can provide support.
- Proper rest, eating well maintains your mental balance. Engage yourself in cooking, sports, discussions that will bring you emotional relief.
- The use of foreign language throughout the day is very tiring. So, in free time read a book or listen to music in your own language.
- Try to be happy and deal with everything with a smiling face. Avoid misunderstandings and embarrassing situations and allow yourself to get involved in entertainment.
- Keep in mind that many simple tasks may not be so easy in a new culture. So, come up with small goals.
- Try to learn new things from others. If you do not understand something, feel free to ask your teacher or classmate.
- Always try to be positive. You can try to keep a list of your enjoyable experiences so that you have a positive outlook.
Lastly, we can conclude that an Indian student can easily be familiar with US culture and social scenario by following the above steps. As soon as they adapt the US culture, it will help to make their academic career and increase the possibility of their acceptance in the United States.