Culture shock is a natural reaction that occurs when people move to a new cultural environment. If you live or travel extensively in another country, you experience culture shock, or disorientation from the new culture's language, customs, weather, dress, food, etc. Culture shock can be characterized by 4 stages, which may vary depending on your adaptability, knowledge of the host culture, and degree of difference from your home country.
1. Honeymoon: The differences you observe are new and interesting. You are optimistic and excited about everything.
2. Conflict/Culture Shock: Everything no longer feels new and becomes obstacles for you to get things done or communicate effectively.
3. Recovery: Gradually as you make friends, you feel more comfortable and start to accept the differences.
4. Adjustment: You start to feel at home and appreciate both the differences and similarities of the new culture.
• Have a sense of humor.
• Be patient.
• Keep an open mind.
• Pursue a (new) hobby.
• Establish a routine such as exercising everyday.
• Keep in touch with family and friends from home.
• Make friends by volunteering or joining a sports team.
• Make an effort to learn about Hawaiian & American culture.
• Maintain contact from your professors and advisors.
• Seek out a tutor for academic help.
• Do activities that help you relax like yoga or writing.
What NOT to do
• Stay in your room all day
• Avoid other people
• Heavy alcohol use
• Escape to sexual relationships
• Restrictive or excessive eating
1. Never go swimming alone.
2. Be aware of high surf warnings and strong currents.
3. Stay away from wet, rocky areas. Be careful of dangerous breaking waves at the shoreline.
4. Always read and obey the safety signs at the beach. Strong currents may not be noticeable on the surface but can be dangerous beneath.
5. Know the various beaches on the island and select the ones you are most comfortable in.
6. Always use sunscreen SPF 15 or above.