Culture Shock and Coping with Homesickness

Whenever someone moves to a new place (and culture), they experience to some level the flowing phases:  

Phase 1 – Honeymoon

In this initial phase you may see the differences between the old and new culture in a romantic light. It may be exciting to have new experiences – whether it is new food, night life, or just general everyday activities.

Phase 2- Negotiation

This usually kicks in a few weeks after your arrival. At this stage the novelty of your new environment has started to wear off. The differences may now in fact irritate as opposed to excite. At this stage you may feel a lot of anxiety and depression is not uncommon.

Phase 3 – Adjustment

This can take some time can take to kick in. However you will be accustomed to the new culture as well as an established routine. At this stage you will accept the changes, and return to ‘normal’

Phase 4 – Reverse Culture Shock

This may happen when you return home as you have been away from your home environment for a great length of time.

Homesickness

Just remember that it is perfectly normal to experience culture shock – and to miss your ‘€˜home’ (regardless of if you move from the other side of the world, a rural region of Australia, or even another city or town in Victoria). There are a few ways to overcome your initial feelings.

  1. Why not visit a member of the Residential Support Team (any of the Resident Advisors – RAs), your College Head, Deputy Head or Residential Support Assistant (RSA)?
    They are there to help you. The members of the team have already spent a substantial amount of time living here. You will be able to express to them the troubles you are having, and they may be able to explain habits that are foreign to you. They will also be able to help you connect with other residents, and make a new group of friends.
  2. Get involved in Res activities
    Meet new people (make new friends) – and discover that everyone is feeling the same as you. It takes a bit of effort to ‘put yourself out there’, but is absolutely worth it.
  3. Stay in contact with family and friends back home
    One of the best things about having super fast (and free!) internet is using VOIP, Skype, Face time € (you name it) to keep  in contact with the people you care about back home. Ask them to send you items which help you bring your home to Res€ (pictures or special items)€“ to help make your new home your new home.
  4. Join University Clubs
    If you are missing something specific (cultural) from home, then chances are Monash University has a club or social group which is dedicated to that:€“ it could be your favourite sport, a cultural club with lots of people from your home country, a religious group or or even a hobby – check out Monashclubs.org or Sport Club for just a taste of what is on offer. Whether it is a social club, or some sort of sporting club, you will be around those with similar interests, allowing you to settle in.
Don’€™t just sit in your room-€“ let people know how you are feeling, and I promise you will find everyone will understand and want to help!

Try some of these sites: