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08 October 2010 @ 07:56 pm
Culture shock?  

So, I have been in South Korea for almost 2 months. I am really enjoying it, in spite of the language barrier and missing my loved ones back home.

Apparently, there are 4 stages that one undergoes when they move to another country:  Honeymoon phase, Culture Shock phase, Adaptation phase, and finally, Reverse Culture Shock phase. The first month was exciting and overwhelming, and I coped with the stress and change by often going straight home from school, relaxing, and then sleeping about 10 hours every night,and only going out on the weekends. Well,  now I'm in my second month, am feeling much more relaxed, and haven't felt the "culture shock" that I was expecting, though I did have a brief honeymoon, and tend to have a honeymoon all over again when I travel to an exciting place (this week it was rock-climbing at Mt. Samaksan) and then I return to normal, whatever that is. :-)

As for "Reverse Culture Shock", I think that I may find American food bland-tasting, since I have been growing accustomed to dakgalbi and kimchi. I'm not sure what other form of "reverse culture shock I will experience. Maybe I will be shocked to hear English spoken everywhere.:-P

For those of you who are over here in South Korea or were over here and have since gone back home, did you experience any of the aforementioned  stages? Did you experience them in the typical order?
Current Mood: curiouscurious
Brandon: South Korea ferrynormalcyispasse on October 8th, 2010 03:09 pm (UTC)
I had some SERIOUS reverse culture shock when I went back home after some years in Kimchistan.
jane doevery on October 8th, 2010 04:18 pm (UTC)
the first couple of months were extremely lonely for me. then it was awesome. and continued being awesome. so it was two months bad and then 16 months of honeymoon. i'm not sure about reverse culture shock but i still dream of the food there and i've been back in the states for over two years now.
크리스티cmaried on October 9th, 2010 08:05 am (UTC)
Oh interesting time-frame, 18 months. Did you work for a hagwon? Yeah, I'm pretty sure I'm going to be loading up on spices when I return home!
jane doevery on October 9th, 2010 03:46 pm (UTC)
yes, i worked in a hagwon. they were flexible with me after my first year so i was able to stay another six months.
Katie: APPLAUSEkrl25 on October 8th, 2010 04:30 pm (UTC)
I experienced culture shock here, and neither did many of my good friends-- all from different places around the world. However, about 4 months into my contract, I went to a bar in Itaewon with a few training buddies, and experienced hardcore reverse culture shock (regardless of the many, many, many Western bars here in Daegu). I think it was the fact that not everyone was military or teacher there.

I guess I was in the honeymoon stage until maybe this month (month 10), where Korean company organization and workings have pretty much killed any romanticizing for Korea.

I have a feeling my reverse culture shock will be along these lines: OMG fat people?! OMG people not checking themselves in mirrors?! OMG PEOPLE WHOSE CONVERSATIONS I CAN UNDERSTAND?! :P
Katie: APPLAUSEkrl25 on October 8th, 2010 04:30 pm (UTC)
* I never experienced culture shock. lol
크리스티cmaried on October 9th, 2010 08:07 am (UTC)
Lol! I think my reverse culture shock will be similar to yours:-P

Sorry that the honeymoon phase is long gone. How long are you here for?
Katiekrl25 on October 9th, 2010 03:30 pm (UTC)
I'm just here for another two months, and then I'm going back to school!
크리스티cmaried on October 12th, 2010 09:40 am (UTC)
Yay! I have this twinge to get a master's degree after I'm done here, but none of the M.A.s that I'm interested in will be of financial benefit..
angel.rinoaangelrinoa on October 8th, 2010 08:22 pm (UTC)
My reverse culture shock happened when I came back to Berkeley after my year of study abroad. But I think everyone gets culture shocked when they come to Berkeley from somewhere not in Northern California.
★ Jen  ★traversant on October 9th, 2010 02:45 am (UTC)
I didn't go through these stages, maybe because I've lived abroad before. I liked it for 2 weeks and hated it the rest of the time and experienced no reverse culture shock upon returning home.

Edited at 2010-10-09 02:46 am (UTC)
크리스티cmaried on October 9th, 2010 08:08 am (UTC)
Interesting. Perhaps that was a small honeymoon period?:-) Now, what did you hate about it?
★ Jen  ★traversant on October 9th, 2010 02:57 pm (UTC)
Typical nightmare hagwon stuff.. late pay, short pay, abuse of contract, etc etc, and a lot of cultural things I can't go into without getting flamed. It just wasn't for me.
크리스티cmaried on October 12th, 2010 09:41 am (UTC)
Yeah, I heard too many bad stories about hagwons, so I decided to apply only for public school.
Me_Me_Mewrldtravlr2 on October 11th, 2010 12:41 pm (UTC)
I had reverse culture shock. Even though I had a lot of English friends in Korea I got used to goıng about my life tunnıng out Korean which I could not understand. That time to think and contemplate was taken away when I got home because I found it hard to tune out English being spoken around me. Also I found myself saying ''Mmm Mmm' in agree ment and giving something to people back home with one hand and putting the other hand on my arm. People asked me why I was doing that. It was nice however to feel like I blended in and didn't stand out or need to be gawked at. No one in Canada or Europe (where I am now) ever tells me I have a small face or how beautiful my very white skin ıs and how they wished they could be white like me.

Enjoy your time in Korea. I know I did.

크리스티cmaried on October 12th, 2010 09:44 am (UTC)
Great point about taking time to "think and contemplate". And yes, when you hear English spoken in Korea, your ears perk up and you're like "where! where!" "who said that?!" I can see how that would be hard to put aside once you return to your country of origin.