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Acculturation Tips 

Everyone experiences acculturation differently depending on the situation they find themselves in. The daily stressors people experience, the social support they receive, and the fluency they have in the new language can all impact how easily they can integrate into a new culture.

To learn specifically about how these factors impact acculturation, check out our other article on the topic: How The Acculturation Process Differs Across Individuals

To learn more about how to address and benefit from these factors when acculturating, read on!

Daily Stressors: Begin to look for ways you can adapt your old routine to your new location to minimize the daily stressors you experience.

  • One of the best ways to do this is to research  and explore your new home- know how to use public transportation, how to get to important places (like grocery stores), and how to get help if need be.

  • Don’t be afraid to lean into being a tourist for the first few weeks- use museums, libraries, and community tours to learn the history and significance of the spots that will become your new daily views.

  • While you do this, keep up healthy habits of eating, exercising, and sleeping to both take care of yourself and keep these factors from clouding your vision of your host country.

  • Remember, the cultural differences that may cause some of these daily stressors are not bad things, just things that offer you a chance to immerse yourself more deeply in the community that surrounds you. 

Social Support: People may feel isolated living within a culture that is not our own. In this situation, it’s important to not only maintain your old support networks, but foster new ones.

  • Remain in touch with loved ones back home, and share the good and the bad (along with pictures) to document and vocalize your experiences. However, don’t put this entirely above forming roots in your new location- also get involved within the local community surrounding you.

  • Take part in some of their traditions, like cultural festivals or cooking classes, and volunteer or participate in organizations where you interact with locals.

  • Utilize these interactions to ask questions- their new customs will likely seem odd to you and asking about them helps you understand why things are the way they are in your new home. 

Language: A language barrier undoubtedly makes everything just that much harder.

  • Keep in mind though that shyness is a hindrance to learning: instead of being afraid of making mistakes when speaking, sincerely attempt to use the host country’s language in daily life.

  • Those around you will often appreciate this attempt more than any sort of fluency you have in another language, even if they themselves speak it.

  • Language clubs or classes, wherein people of all languages are attempting to learn from each other, are often also readily available for you to utilize. 

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