Objective: To experience and observe your reactions to the “not OK” feelings of disorientation in a strange cultural environment.
This activity is based on two widely recognized premises:
1. That culture shock is endemic; we cannot inoculate ourselves against it, but we can improve our recover mechanisms, and
2. that “not OK” feelings, once recognized have a tendency to disappear.
Procedure: Within your present cultural environment select a location which seems especially “foreign” to you, and plan to visit it. The location must meet only three conditions:
1. Your stay should be for at least two hours.
2. You should be able to be a participant observer within the location you choose. Do not arrange a “guided tour”. Attempt to involve yourself directly in the activities of your chosen location.
3. You must keep a record (notebook) of your experiences, thoughts and feelings in your foreign environment.
Examples of activities: Eat at India restaurant; International students advisers working with
students from Middle Eastern countries; a foreign born professor is teaching a class in Berkley College. There are many possibilities. The critical element is to choose something very different from what you are
used to, and which causes even as you think about it some sensation of
In the report you should demonstrate knowledge of course concepts and address the following
1. Describe the event, its purpose, the cultural group originating from the even, when it occurred, where it occurred.
2. Are their similar events in your culture?
3. What did you see and experience at this event that you feel confident you understood
4. What did you notice that was culturally puzzling to you?
5. How did you feel or respond personally to being in a different cultural situation that was not as predictable as communication in your own culture.
6. Describe an important conclusion due to your participation in this event.
7. Demonstrate that you have a thorough understanding of culture shock and its dimensions.
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