How to Survive Culture Shock

Anna Chiappini
Anna Chiappini
Anna Chiappini is an Italian MBA student at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia. Somehow she's balancing her studies, a job AND a social life!

Hello everyone!

As I told you before, my impact with multiculturalism in Adelaide was quite tough!

I already lived abroad and I have a heap of international friends, but the quantity of people that I met during the first two weeks of University at Flinders, from so many cultures, totally confused me! I experienced what the ISSU (Flinders International Students Service Unit) warned us of, a BIG cultural crisis! But I survived and you can to. If you follow my advice, you can enjoy Adelaide from day one.

Here are my tips:

1: Observe, understand the context your new mates come from, if they have any difficulties settling as well, or not.

2. Try to know as much as you can about them – questions, questions, questions!

3. Be yourself, but be prepared to be flexible and adaptable to the new cultures that you are approaching.

4. Do not forget too much about your culture (I was turning into an Asian girl after 2 months, confusing noodles with spaghetti, chopstick with fork!)

5. Share your interests…one, two, three times…you will find someone with the same interests, humour, passion, dedication of you and so on!

6. Ask help if you need it. Do not be scared, shy or sorry! We all need help and when we are abroad, ‘friends are family’.

7. Enjoy the city, the state, the country you are living in. Discover it with your friends; highlight with them the positive sides of being there!

8. And the last one: thank them. Thank you to all my Australian and International friends, who did or do heaps to make my day every day!!

Previous articleArriving in New Zealand
Next articleA Week to Remember