5 Replies from Mentors
PeterJunior Year StudentFairfield UniversityNot really, people are people no matter where you go. There are clearly cultural differences but once you get acquainted with them in the first month, it really is not that bad. Once you get past the initial surface you will be able to find cross-cutting cleavages that will help you to connect with them in at least one aspect.
MichaelJunior Year StudentLoyola Marymount UniversityBeing jet-lagged made the first few days very difficult, but once that wore off I found my new environment (London) easy to adjust to. I think a key thing is to interact as much as possible with the locals even if it seems stressful at the time. If you're at a bar, for example, try making conversation with a friendly looking local. Chances are you’ll end up having an interesting conversation and getting a true feel for what your environment is about.
Additional MentorVarious students and administratorsinterviewed by the Center for Global Education
Melissa and Joshua, Students, studied in New Zealand and Costa Rica
Listen to Joshua and Melissa discuss the culture shock they experienced, and how they learned about other points of view while abroad.
KimberlySenior Year StudentLoyola Marymount UniversityFrom the very beginning, once I landed in China, I felt comfortable. It was not hard for me to adjust, especially since during the first month our program traveled across the Silk Road. The Silk Road was a journey that Marco Polo took across China when learning about the trading system. Traveling, and making lots of friends helped to distract my mind from missing home. By the time we got back from the Silk Road trip, this made it even easier to adjust to my normal environment in Beijing. My advice is to just keep yourself busy, build strong friendships, and do not be afraid of immersing yourself in the culture. This is the only way that you will get through your study abroad experience and make the most out of it.
NancySenior Year StudentLoyola Marymount University
Nancy, Student, studied in Italy
Making mistakes while abroad is inevitable. You will miss a train because you don't speak the language or remember they use Military time, but you will learn and grow from these mistakes. All these experiences help you grow and learn to think out of the box.