The Phenomenon Of Culture Shock Education Essay

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Culture Shock, in 1954 Oberg first time use this term, to describe the feelings and some of the more pronounced reactions to spending an extended period of time in a culture very different from people own, especially for international students Pedersen (2002) claim that most of students are adolescence or young adult, they uproot home and lost family and friends support, they do not have a economies basis (Brown & Jown 2007). There are a lot of problem should be solved.

Britain is the second bigger country which has oversea student (Guardian, 2005), the UK government and university adopt many measure to decrease the impact of culture shock, like to set up some department about oversea student in the university (UKCISA & University of Cambridge, Exeter, bath, Newcastle, Lancaster etc).

This report will give some information about international student and culture of Britain. Due to different culture environment, there are some problems for study abroad students. Then establish a model to express oversea students suffer from what problem are there when study in the university in now days (Glasgow university, 2009), finally, give some recommendations to help international student passing this period.


Over the last few decades, the number of students travelling abroad for education has escalated to more than 1 million worldwide.' Often, students from developing countries spend time in educational institutions of relatively more developed countries so that, upon returning, they can make enriching contributions to the economy, health care system, social conditions,

and technology of their home countries (Hamboyan 1995). Today, the UK becomes a popular country where oversea students like learning some skills and knowledge (Great Britain: Parliament.2007), there are more than 340.000 international students are assemble in this country (NSA, 2010), nearly one six of whole of university of students (BBC, 2009). Such a large number overseas students are even more prominent one problem of student living abroad, culture shock.

There are four notable problems bother the international student when they study in Britain's university, respectively, language skill, study approach, mental health and study environment


The first problem is language skill, when they study in the universities in the UK, there are two aspect factors impact international students study in the university.

One factor is listening problem. Some international students cannot complete understand what is teach and group partner saying when talking about academic topic. Meanwhile, because they cannot understand the whole information, they will have academic content gaps in their learning (Schein 1991, cite in Andres 2005). They just depend empirical to comprehend what are they said, so they often lost some important information. For example, when teach always delivery some exam message by oral or a series of study skill (Andres 2005). They will add many uncertainly elements either when they attend a group work, just for students cannot understand what purpose of this team work (Antia et al 2002).

There is another language problem, oral problem. Some students do not like attend group discussion is not listening problem. Only because they hesitate whether express themselves opinion, they worry about how to speak with a good grammar and how to avoid speaking English like a foreigner. According a study from McCrosky, 15% to 20% university students throughout western society suffer from high communication apprehension, 60% student suffer anxiety and all student do suffer anxiety to some degree throughout their studies(McCuddy 2007). They are not good at communication in some academic field. All of students know they should attend team work, but they afraid speak wrong and choice keep silence.

The second problem is different study approach.

Undeniably, assessment is very important for all of students, it help and check students developing understanding and skills (Boud 1995 and Brown 1997, cited in Brown & Jown 2007). However, different culture has different learning style, as an international student, they always use the original learning approach which obtains from their mother countries to do assessment. For instance, in some field the American study approach is complete against the UK approach, or a good student who from Pacific Rim countries, he/she cannot make tutor happy when they write a essay or report with original style in Australia, or the UK students study in North Europe where they discover that they are hoped to express their task in oral exam, usually (Brown & Jown 2007).

Through to McCuddy(2007) study, some students take a rote learning to acquire knowledge and skill, they lack a logical process to thinking about what is the core of knowledge and skill.

Practically, in Southeast Asia and Chinese students, in those countries students do not have time to discussion or ask some question. They just concentrate on the last achievement, never mind about individual ability. Those countries students have a more conserving attitude more than an extending attitude. Ryan (2000) points 'in eastern societies, harmony and compromise are highly valued for survival and social well-being.' Whereas, universities in the western generally wish student argue some phenomenon, creating and asking question as a learning behaviors. That is one reason, students who from Asia always cite some famous academic book to argue some obvious opinion, rather than pick some unfamiliar reference to support some new view (Brown & Jown 2007).

The third problem is health problem. It will affect students study in the UK. Hamboyan (1995) consider the great risk for international students is mental health. A study at Columbia University in New York display that 75% of students were encountered about depression and more than 25% reported suicidal or homicidal thoughts. Harper and Quaye (2008) claim international student often hold a symbol of homesick, loneliness, stress, isolation and loss of identity, status and self-value after they come to a new country. All of this negative emotion contribution to oversea students falls into an unhealthy risk. A 1984-1988 study on health care use by students show the international students had many more diagnose stress related illness than local students (Hamboyan 1995). They will fell frustrate and indignation when they face some difficulties and failures when study in the university. Especially some oversea student use to success in their home country, they will hold a sense of failure more than others. Basic on this attitude, they will get a lot of negative effect, such as less appetite or sleep, gastrointestinal problems, lose the energy and headache and so on (Yi Lin & Kishimoto 2003, cite in Harper & Quaye 2008). However, living in a new country they do not understand new healthcare system, so they do not get enough help unlike their self-country, they are further missing home and loneness, and they cannot find a sense of belonging, especially for Asia people (Harper & Quaye 2008).

The last problem is they cannot suite the local education system. The basic concept of higher education in the British culture, develop student self-value expression and independent individual character. It could very strange for student who comes from some different education background. Student doubt about the value of study in the UK, they cannot understand why they do not 'teach' them. The different culture and religion factors lead to some female student hard to attend some male activities. International student unfamiliar they should use some technology to enrich their subject in the university. Generally students hope to be helped from other, but some student who does not have good English or academic background think that will lose face or not be respected. This can become very serious when students begin to work in isolation which can lead to waste of time, producing irrelevant work etc. Inadequate English language skills can add to these problems. (University of Reading 2010).


Although culture shock is normally a temporary phase, it is important to understand there are some suggest help them getting out of a difficult position.

Keep in touch with home which it can help people ease the pressure to reduce thoughts of home. Take regular exercise. As well as being good for health it can be a way of meeting people. Practice language skills to improve their capacity to meet current international students, whether from their own culture, or from other people, because they know they are feeling and if possible, so that local students friends, so that they can understand each other more culture, and train their listening and speaking ability, and actively participate in school and other group activities such as sports, music or voluntary service to reduce its pressure to see more about local history and customs of some books or magazines, to understand local customs and cultural background of a better adapt to the new environment of life, often with foreign student exchanges, obtain help from others often go to students in the office or organization of a number of international students to find some useful information to help themselves to improve living conditions and study skills, learning to local students learning mode . Use the services at universities or colleges, where there will be staff of professional experience. For example, health services, counseling services, international office, or hall wardens will provide a friendly, a good person to listen and help, which is normal in the UK, they can help students to study in the UK the information they need. If it is difficult to find foreign students to settle their personal tutor, you may also need to know. She or he can provide assistance to adapt to different academic system, in particular, yes. For some religious groups to connect with the students will use their contacts and familiar environment, whether it be churches, mosques, synagogues and temples. Many universities have a number of beliefs may be represented by a pastor. May also be a religious student groups. Many chaplaincies welcome pastoral or social activities for students of all faiths.


International student contribute a lot of on UK education and economy, but when they came here, they face too much different clash. Compare the home student. There are a lot of different demand for international student and more urgent need, like language problem, learning approach, and teaching method, lack society and family help. All of these factors are strong impact abroad students study in the university in the UK. Furthermore, the international students not only encounter a lot of culture shock in the study, but also in life. There are many problems, especially on health. Britain's universities should pay more attention on foreign students about their experience of thinking and living state, thereby reducing the negative effects of culture shock.