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While You Are There/Culture Shock

Culture Shock: While You Are There

So you are in-country and feel completely overwhelmed.  Don’t worry, it happens to almost everyone!  Here are some tips for you during your abroad experience.

  1. 1. Register with the U.S. Embassy

-If you are staying for a long period of time, it is important to register with the U.S. embassy and let them know you will be in country.  Register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program:

-Find out where the U.S. Embassy is in-country:

  1. 2. Stay safe in-country
    1. Find tips and safety warnings of the country. This can be found at the State Departments website at:
    2. Find hospitals:  Lists of Doctors and Hospitals can be found on the U.S. Embassy Website of the city/country you are visiting.
  1. 3. Keep money and important documents in a SAFE PLACE always.  Beware of pick-pockets.

-Girls: carry a bad that goes around your shoulder, zippers, and you can keep your hand on it at all times when in crowed spaces.  Boys: Keep important things in a front pocket or a pocket that can zipper.

  1. 4. Make an effort to learn about the culture and the people you work with.

-Speak the language!  Don’t be afraid about making mistakes.  A good online-translator is:

-Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

  1. 5. Set goals with your supervisor.

-What do you want to get out of this experience?  What does your supervisor expect from you?  What do you hope to learn?  Set these goals and reach them!

  1. 6. Keep a Journal!

-Especially if you are getting academic credit, it is important to keep a diary of you activities, achievements, and reflections.

  1. 7. Keep in Touch with your family.

-Through Skype (, postcards, and e-mails let them know that you are safe and having a great time!

Next: Return on Investment: What to do When You Return