How “U” Can Successfully Adjust to American Culture Advice for International Students & Scholars Visiting the U.S

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How U Can Successfully Adjust to American Culture Advice for International Students & Scholars Visiting the U.S. Slide 2 The U Shaped Arrow Contact Surprise Coping Struggle Conflict Stress Clash or Collision Shock / Sadness (Mostly Below the Surface) Connection Support Change Self-identity Confidence Success A high-low-high roller coaster Slide 3 The U Shaped Arrow A Shallow U Curve Is Possible Factors Affecting the Depth of Culture Shock Duration of time Distance culturally Denial of cultural differences Disposition Diversity capability Depth of language ability Levels of Culture Shock Slide 4 Mental Emotional Spiritual Physical Social Academic The U Shaped Arrow Culture shock begins with cognitive dissonance, often at a sub-conscious level. It may impact some or all areas of life. Disharmony Depression Loss of mission Sleep loss, etc. Isolation Poor grades Slide 5 Key to Success The key to success in a new culture is to adapt yourself through a positive mental attitude! Positive Mental Attitude Slide 6 Positive Mental Attitude Contact Surprise Coping Struggle Conflict Stress Clash or Collision Shock / Sadness Connection Support Change Self-identity Confidence Success A = Approach as an adventure D = Do not live in denial A = Accept differences P = Practice humor A-D-A-P-T Slide 7 The Water Closet (W.C.) Story[1[1 ] The story is told of a husband and wife from England who were planning a vacation trip to the Untied States. Part of their plans included a week long stay at a campground. They were going to be staying in old fashion cabins. They had heard from some friends who had previously traveled to the U.S. that the "rest rooms" (toilets) were sometimes located quite a distance from the cabins. This concerned the wife, so she decided to write to the Camp Director. Dear Camp Director, My husband and I are hoping to stay at your campground for one week this winter. Before we finalize our plans, I would like to know where the "W.C." is located. Sincerely, Mrs. Johnstone Slide 8 The Water Closet (W.C.) Story[1[1 ] When the Camp Director received the letter, he was rather confused as to what the W.C. referred to. When he asked his staff for some help, one of them replied, "I bet I know what she is referring to. She wants to know where the "Welcome Center" (WC) is located. The Director immediately agreed immediately and wrote the following letter: Slide 9 The Water Closet (W.C.) Story[1[1 Dear Mrs. Johnstone, The W.C. that you asked about is located 10 miles from the camping area. This may seem like quite a distance to travel, yet there is a bus shuttle that you can use. It passes through the camping area several times a day. Please keep in mind, though, that the W.C. is closed after 5 PM and all day on Sundays! We have found that some of our visitors are little shy and do not like to visit the W.C. alone. Please do not worry. The bus driver is well trained and he will take you directly into the W.C. and introduce you to our W.C. greeters. You will soon discover how friendly Americans can be. Since the view from the W.C. is so spectacular, many people plan to stay for a least a few hours. Our friendly staff will be availabe to answer any questions you might have. I can promise you this: Youll never be bored or lonely at the W.C.! If you let me know when you will be using our W.C. for the first time, I will meet you there. I always enjoy giving our international visitors a special welcome. Plus, it will give me a good reason to go again. It is has been several weeks since I last went to the W.C. If you have any more questions, please let me know! Sincerely, The Camp Director Slide 10 The Water Closet (W.C.) Story[1[1 What is the lesson to be learned? We need to learn to allow ourselves to make mistakes and laugh at ourselves when we do. We need to practice humor instead of becoming critical and frustrated. Slide 11 Positive Mental Attitude Contact Surprise Coping Struggle Conflict Stress Clash or Collision Shock / Sadness Connection Support Change Self-identity Confidence Success A = Approach as an adventure D = Do not live in denial A = Accept differences P = Practice humor A-D-A-P-T T = Take time for renewal Slide 12 An Essential Principle Home Country: Needs met by direct power Unconsciously Switched United States: Needs met by battery power You need to take time to recharge your batteries! Slide 13 Remember: U Can Succeed!