2022–23 Austrian foreign language teaching assistant
Lafayette College, Pennsylvania
You think it won’t happen to you. And that’s a good thing, because if you were afraid of every single little thing that could happen, you wouldn’t dare do anything, right?
But oh my, culture shock did happen to me. I didn’t think it would, but it came for me, hard. I was completely unprepared. Of course I had heard about it, of course all the pre-departure orientations and events had touched upon that topic, but I thought, “Well, how bad could it be? How foreign could a country be, whose language I speak fluently and whose culture and media I have been consuming ever since I started consuming culture and media in general?” I have watched American movies and TV shows, listened to American music, read American books, followed American politics ever since I remember watching movies and TV, listening to music, reading books, and following politics! I thought I knew enough, was familiar with the culture enough, to not struggle with culture shock.