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SIGNS AND SOLUTIONS Intercultural Adjustment, Re-entry Shock, Mental Health Concerns UTSA Study Abroad Program Shawanda Woods, PsyD UTSA Counseling Services RWC1.810 210-458-4140 What is Intercultural Adjustment? A.K.A. Culture Shock
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UTSA Study Abroad Program
Shawanda Woods, PsyD
UTSA Counseling Services
“Culture Shock-Expectations For Going Abroad and Returning.” Gortner, Eva-Maria, Rice University Counseling Center.
Resource material: The International Services Office, The George Washington University, Washington D.C. Original source unknown.
Work on understanding the language
Set your assumptions and values aside
Be complete and explicit
Introduce Yourself/Make Friends
Remember your Family
Significantly depressed mood or absence of mood
Inability to experience please or feel interest in daily life
Insomnia or Hypersomnia nearly every day
Substantial change in appetite, eating patterns or weight
Fatigue or energy loss
Diminished ability to concentrate
Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness
Inappropriate feelings of guilt or self-criticism
A lack of sexual desire
Suicidal thoughts, feelings or behaviors
Seek early intervention which may modify the severity of your depression
Reduce or eliminate use of alcohol or drugs
Exercise or engage in physical activity
Eat a proper, well balanced diet
Obtain adequate sleep
Seek emotional support from family and friends
Focus on the positive aspects of life
Pace yourself, modify your schedule, set realistic goals
Eliminate or reduce unnecessary tasks
Consult with a physician if you are experiencing any medical problems
70% of all people committing suicide give some clue as to their intentions before they make an attempt.
Giving away possessions
Putting affairs in order
Making a will
Changes in eating, sleeping patterns, loss of interest in prior activities or relationships
**SUDDEN Intense lift in spirits**
Deal directly with the topic of suicide
Encourage problem solving and positive actions
Most suicides can be prevented by sensitive responses to the person in crisis.
You’re alone and you don’t feel you have a choice not to be
You feel that you’re lacking attachments you had in the past;
You are facing changes in your life
You feel there’s no one in your life with whom you can share your feelings and experiences;
Your self perceptions are that you’re unacceptable, unlovable, not worthwhile even if others don’t share those perceptions
Loneliness will not last forever
Put yourself in new situations
Look for ways to get involved (eat, sit, study)
Follow habits of good nutrition, regular exercise, adequate sleep
Use alone tome to enjoy yourself rather than just existing until you will be with others
Keep things in your environment that you can use to enjoy alone time (books, puzzles)
Rapid hear beat
Chest pain or discomfort
Trembling or shaking
Cold clammy hands
Being too fearful to take action
Always being “on edge”
Having a difficult making decisions
Exercise or engage in some form of daily physical activity, Eat a nutritious, well balanced diet
Don’t engage in “emotional reasoning”
Obtain an adequate amount of sleep
Seek emotional support from friends and family
Focus on the positive aspect of your life
Establish realistic, attainable goals which do not rely on perfectionist values
Monitor how you think about stress and reduce negative thoughts
Don assume responsibility for events which are outside your control
What is Re-entry Shock?
Common Re-entry Expectations
Re-entry shock is a term that describes the shock people go through when returning home after an extended stay abroad.
Everything will be the same
Everything will be great
People will be interested in my stories
I will fit back into life with no problems
I can pick up my relationships where we left off
People will be open minded
People around me will recognize and applaud my personal growth
I will have the same needs and goals as before
“Reverse Culture Shock,” University of Iowa. www.uiowa.edu/~uiabroad/returning/handbook.htm
“Coming Home: Life After Study Abroad,” Middlebury College Study Abroad www.middlebury.edu/~sap/re_entry/coming_home.html (10/12/01) and “Coming Home: Surviving the Transition and Staying Involved,” Collins, Joseph, Stefano DeZerega, and ZaharaHeckscher; Transitions Abroad, Nov/Dec 2001.