Culture Shocks and Cultural Diversity
Shock, Shock, Shock…
Going on a language stay, experiencing an international mobility programme to improve your language skills, leaving on a voluntary project… All of these are formidable opportunities to discover new cultures, but also to question your vision of the world, confront your opinions, and take risks – and among these: the risk to be experience “culture shocks”.
Experiencing interculturality seems great if you look at it from your home country! But it may turn out to be a tad more complicated than you thought if you don’t get properly ready for it and don’t plan it in advance.
Learning to get out of your frame of reference to grasp differently what you see, what you feel, what you live… takes some preparation! Diving beyond appearances to be able to break down the concepts that will help you better understand the world… takes some learning!
Incomprehension, doubts, loneliness… these are real culture shocks
Any intercultural meeting, no matter how short, can result in a shock. Incomprehension, doubts, fear, loneliness: many are the factors which may intensify this feeling of “culture shock”.
The most important thing is not to preserve yourself from them, but to prepare yourself for them.
The SVI will try to get you prepared against culture shocks by teaching you to:
- Leave what you already know (your frame of reference, as they say) and let yourself into another frame.
- Reach out to others and start a real intercultural dialogue – not a monologue! ?
- Understand mediation and manage to adjust your frame of reference to that of another culture.
These topics are deeply discussed during our preparation weekends and online training sessions. Former volunteers also come to these sessions and share their experiences.
Anyone who wishes to undertake a project and live the best possible adventure will benefit from the advice, tips and knowledge on culture shocks that are shared during these training sessions.
And you know…
It’s not a bad thing to be a bit shocked from time to time, to shake up our ideas and take the time to question them. That is how we get to widen our comfort zone and take our place as citizens of this multilingual world! ? After all, culture shocks are just a natural consequence of cultural diversity! You want to discover new cultures or not?
All these experiences of language learning, volunteering, and questioning will enrich our personality, our knowledge, and our vision of the world and its diverse people.