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Overcoming Culture Shock as a foreign student in the UK

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Overcoming Culture Shock as a foreign student in the UK Introduction The reason of choosing culture shock as a topic was the opportunity to spend half a year in the UK as a student at the age of 17. Although experiencing culture shock I did not know what it exactly was and how deeply I did become surrounded to the culture and the place I lived in. Foreign students as teenagers can accept new behaviors and manners more easily than the older generation. They seem to have fewer problems with the foreign language and they easily adapt to new situations. During my stay in the UK I have experienced many new situations concerning the culture and people and sometimes I felt inconvenient, because of not being aware of very simple things. In this study I have conducted a questionnaire in which I have asked 16 people. I asked them to tell their opinion about, how they felt as a part or an observer of a foreign culture. Due to the reason that the people being asked could have been put into two groups, I have evaluated the questionnaires in two different styles. Firstly, I have compared the answers of people who have spent less than one year in the UK. Secondly, I took the answers of people spending more than a year there or they are still living or studying in England. In this essay I will therefore elaborate the definition of culture shock and I will try to put myself and people asked in the questionnaire into various stages of it. Moreover I will compare the researched material with my own experience and at the end I will try to build up a conclusion. The term culture shock and the thoughts behind The phrase culture shock was first used in 1958 as a description of the fear when someone moves to live in an unfamiliar environment with new rules and morals. ...read more.


In England the traditional meal times are breakfast (7.00-9.00), lunch (12.00-1.30 pm) and dinner (6.30 pm-8.00 pm). English do not care too much about their lunch and therefore they usually eat their packed sandwiches with crisps that they carry in a plastic box. Eating habits are changing day to day and researchers have found out that English seem to prefer curry and meals with rice and pasta for dinners. When English take away food is mentioned the first thought that gets into the mind of people is "Fish and Chips". Therefore it is often said that "Fish and Chips" is England's national food. Among traditional dishes one can find for example Roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, Shepherds pie, Roast chicken, roast lamb and many others. Not only meats but also pies are very popular in England. The most favored ones are: pork pie or stake and kidney pie. However England's cuisine does not belong to most popular cuisines of the world, English stand out with their desserts and the tea. Thus, one can distinguish many types of biscuits (as Shrewsbury biscuit), cakes (as Lardy cake) and puddings (as Bakewell pudding). Many people might know that England is a tea drinking society. They are reserved to their customs and therefore they comply with their customs. English have two main tea times. These are the Afternoon tea with other words, the 4 o'clock tea and the High tea which is also called the 6 o'clock tea. 9 Research methodology Measuring the level of culture shock was helped by conducting a survey. A questionnaire was sent to students from various countries. I have chosen thus, 16 students from 11 countries. The eleven countries are the followings: Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Italy, Switzerland, Denmark, Germany, Colombia, Venezuela, U.A.E. and Japan. The questionnaire contained 23 questions from which some related to general information about the interviewee and others were related to measure the level of culture shock the individual met while staying in England. ...read more.


One should on the other hand not forget about his own culture and customs, because after returning to his home country he may face the reverse form of culture shock. Appendices Appendix A Annotated Bibliography Books: 1. Breaking through Culture Shock Written by: Elisabeth Marx Published: Nicholas Brealey Publishing Date of Publishing: 2001 The book gives a deep study of culture shock by examining it in a scientific way and explaining terms with examples from business life. The book consists of two parts; the first gives the definitions and explains the possible solutions how it should be taken. It gives a scientific study with examples, graphs and examples. The second part concentrates on business cultures. It explains the major thought about the culture in a business context. Various sections deal with management, leadership and effective organizing of career opportunities in a given country 2. Culture Shock! Britain Written by: Terry Tan Published: Kuperard, London Date of publishing: 2001 This book evaluates British culture by various sections. It shortly explains the country and its history, politics, parts, health care, way of living and other similar issues. It elaborates people and their habits in other sections. It gives not only an overview about customs, but it also shows many examples how English people live. One reading this book may found out interesting issues about English eating habits, traditions, historical celebrations or education. It is an interesting piece of reading because one can prepare well from British life when reading this book through. 3. Britain in Close-up Written by: David McDowall Published: Pearson Education Limited Date of Publishing: 2000 It is a good piece of writing because it gives answers to many questions about the UK. It has separate sections on Politics, Law, Working in Britain, Social life, Culture, Education, Media, Religion, Environment and many others. It has a relatively easy language, thus everyone can understand it quite easily. ...read more.

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