Culture shock is completely normal and is expected when anyone is moving to a new area which is different from where they have grown up and the process can take some adjustment.
It is important to understand the stages of culture shock so you can be aware of how you are feeling and why. At first you might be excited about the new things you will experience, however after a short while the differences you are experiencing could become unsettling, and you may even start to feel homesick.
All of these thoughts and feelings are perfectly natural and you will not be the only one experiencing them.
Top tips for when you are feeling anxious:
- Be patient: Don’t put pressure on yourself to ‘feel better’. These things take time.
- Connect with your peers: Even though it may feel uncomfortable, start conversations, join groups, attend trips and build relationships with others. Most likely others will be feeling the same as you!
- Get involved in the local community: Look out for volunteering opportunities and groups in the local community. This will help develop a sense of belonging.
- Look after yourself: Eat well, get fresh air, exercise and do things that bring you joy.
- Seek support if you need to: Sometimes we can’t do things on our own and that’s okay. It is okay to tell people how you are feeling and ask for support from services if you need them. Visit our support webpages for more information or contact the Student Welfare Team who will be able to help and support you.
To support international students in adapting to a new learning environment, we have a Toolkit which is intended for students whose first language is not English and who are new to studying in UK higher education. The Toolkit aims to raise confidence in interacting with module convenors (leaders) and participating in 1-to-1 writing consultations provided by ISLI's Academic English programmes.
STaR mentors are current students that are available to help new undergraduate and postgraduate students when they arrive at Reading. Talking to a STaR mentor before you arrive and in the first term can help you settle in to student life and have your questions answered about living and studying in the UK.
You can also speak with the International Student Advisory Team about anything you might need throughout your time at Reading.