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Cultural Adjustment Roller Coaster, AEC @ KU

This presentation will give you a brief overview of the 4 stages of cultural adjustment. At the end of the presentation, you will find links to campus resources at KU.

Katie McClintic

on 20 February 2014

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Transcript of Cultural Adjustment Roller Coaster, AEC @ KU

AEC Counseling Programs
University of Kansas

4 Stages of Cultural Adjustment
Just like a roller coaster...
...there are lots of...
...and downs!
Stage 1: Honeymoon
Anticipation, excitement, nervousness, curiosity...
...all of these describe how you are feeling in this stage
You focus on similarities and differences you can easily see...
...but culture is like an iceberg.
It's much deeper than what appears on the surface!
These deeper aspects aren't easily seen until you spend more time in a culture....
The Honeymoon stage usually lasts around 3 months...
...then you enter the next stage.
Stage 2: Culture Shock

lack of motivation...

You begin to think things like:
"Who am I?"
"Where am I?"
"What's wrong with you people??!"
Parts of the new culture seem strange or offensive.
You begin to see deeper aspects of the culture
Physical Symptoms
trouble sleeping at night
unable to stay awake during the day
Psychological Symptoms
no energy
uninterested in daily life
During this stage, you might develop some physical and psychological symptoms...
In addition, you are also struggling with learning the language and making deeper connections with people....
...but just like a roller coaster, this dip won't last forever!
Stage 2 of the cultural adjustment process usually lasts about 3-6 months.
Then you begin to head back up to stage 3...
You start to feel more comfortable with new behaviors and the environment...
...things seem to be getting easier...
...you start to see deeper aspects of the new culture as different rather than wrong...
...you begin to develop problem solving skills to deal with new aspects of the culture...
...and most importantly, you develop a more positive attitude about the ups and downs of life in the USA!
Stage 3: Adjustment
Lasts around 6-12 months
By this time, you are well on your way to stage 4...
You made it!
Stage 4: Mastery
You feel comfortable participating in the new culture....

...but you have still kept your own cultural values.
For most people, it takes about a year to go through all of the stages.
Along the way, you will experience a lot of ups and downs...
...just remember to enjoy the ride!
Campus Resources
Student Organizations

Center for Community Outreach

KU Alternative Breaks

KU Student Union Activities

How can I become friends with more American students at KU?
What do American teachers expect students to do in class?
I really miss my family and friends back home. What can I do to feel less homesick?
I can't get used to American food. How can I find healthy food to eat?
Full transcript