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What is culture shock? - HOW DO I / International students / Settling in - NMIT Support

What is culture shock?

It is normal to feel a bit overwhelmed when you first arrive in a new country. During the first few weeks, you will be adjusting to a very new and different environment and will be unaware of the written and unwritten customs of your host country. For some students, this sense of "not knowing what is going on" may lead to feelings of isolation and sometimes depression. This is known as "culture shock".

Warning signs to look out for:

  • You seem unusually irritable, sleep too long or too little and possibly overeat or not eat at all
  • You seem unable to trust the people around you
  • You remain in your room watching TV all the time
  • You begin to miss classes
  • You often cry for no good reason
  • You worry about not keeping up with your education plan
  • You are out all night socialising
  • You have unexplained frequent stomach aches, headaches or other physical symptoms

If you notice any of these symptoms and are worried, please talk to a Cultural Adviser.  It's OK - we will understand and help you.