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Culture Shock and Socio Cultural Values - Personal Statement Example

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In the paper “Culture Shock and Socio-Cultural Values,” the author describes how he has come to America from Saudi Arabia to pursue his higher studies and his early experience of American life. Gender inequality and outlook towards casual sex are two of the most important cultural factors…
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Culture Shock and Socio Cultural Values
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I have come to America from Saudi Arabia to pursue my higher studies and my early experience of American life has been of a culture shock. Though I was prepared for changes but the vast differences of socio cultural values were very unsettling and I often found it difficult to adjust in the new environment. I come from a country where the concept of education, especially higher education is still confined for the male population in the majority of cases. Conservative value system and gender segregation is still practiced in social gatherings.
Gender inequality and outlook towards casual sex are two of the most important cultural factors of the conservative cultures of the South-East Asian countries. When people from these countries travel to the West, especially America, they experience cultural shock. America is a land of opportunity and is characterized by its ever expanding diverse cultural paradigms. The democratic values are more emphatically visible here through equality between the genders and freedom of informed choices. The opportunities to exert those choices are openly practiced with societal support that a Moslim immigrant, initially finds it hard to accept. The language barriers, rules and regulations, food etc are other factors that make it difficult for them to overcome.
I was fortunate enough to befriend an American student whose was sensitive and had a great sense of humor. Initial differences were resolved through understanding of cross cultural values. While I seriously worked on overcoming the barrier of communication by joining English language course, he introduced me with the etiquettes of American society and helped me to become part of various social networking groups. Once I became confident that I could express myself in the native language of English, it became easier for me to interact with others, felt more comfortable and developed a sense of belonging which is also called assimilation.
It is important to understand that adapting to different environment is a gradual process that happens in phases. Before completely getting acculturized in different culture, factors like social networking and learning the language and culture of the host country facilitates rapid adjustment. Initial loss of identity in the host country is gradually recovered by accepting the differences and adapting their own values according to the new environment. The hostility experienced at first is reduced once immigrants become familiar with the new culture of the host country. Therefore, it is imperative that students must be prepared for changes in their lives when they go to other countries because there is always going to be unexpected elements of surprise and unexpectedness. It is equally true that time is a great medium of adjustment but little extra effort, always reduces the timeframe of adjustment. Indeed, there is no barrier that cannot be overcome by understanding and learning from the mistakes. Wit and humor certainly eases the embarrassing moments and builds relationship in the foreign land. Read More
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