Culture Shock Essay
The United States of America is a country in which many people from all over the world comes to live harmoniously with each other. Unlike Canada, which is a multicultural country, it is a melting pot since each person brings his peculiarity to enrich the culture of this country. But this melting process is not always without pain or hurt. I felt the life in Canada is more comfortable According to John J. Macionis, the author of Sociology, secondary Canadian edition.
Culture shock is a state of bewilderment, anxiety, disorientation and distress as an individual suddenly exposed to a social or cultural environment radically different from his own. It happens frequently for the international students and immigrants. Culture conflicts appear not only when students come to school and learn new ways of living there, but also when they come back home and live with their own families or their own societies. The reason for that is the students are young and easy to change, but the adults are not ready to follow their example and adapt to the new situation. When I first come to live in the states, my system of values must change in order for me to survive.
When I first came to the states, I was unprepared to live there, that’s why I always suffer from stress because of culture shock.
I feel that student-teacher relationships in North American are not the same as they were in Hong Kong. Hong Kong students often have high regard for their teachers. In Hong Kong, students never call their teacher by their first name, because it is not respectful to the teacher. Also, they hesitate to ask or to answer questions in class because they don’t want to lose their face in showing their ignorance in front of the class, and sometimes because their English is not good enough to form a clear question. And if they give the wrong answer it not only humiliates them but also brings shame on their families. Hong Kong students were taught to be modest and not to display their knowledge freely until being specially called for.
All these things can lead to misunderstanding since my teachers thought that I was too shy, or stupid, or abnormal. Sometimes when being directly asked for some questions, unlike American students, which are more creative and can always give a fast answer, I have to take a long time to think the question over, because I was afraid to give the incorrect answer. Teachers often feel uncomfortable with my silence and tend to interpret my silence as an indicator of my inability to answer a question. It’s a normal thing that American teachers expect Asian students to ask them to explain something difficult. However, Hong Kong students don’t do this as we have seen earlier. Moreover, their feedback sometimes leads to more misunderstanding.
When teachers see their students listen to them in smiling or in head nodding, they imagine that these students understand the subject very well. In reality, some students mask their emotions and just act like that to be polite, since they think that if they would ask question, the teachers would be hurt for their teaching was not clear enough for the class. I was having low expectation from the teacher at that time and that affects my learning. I was stressed and felt disorientation all the time in school. Many teachers do not treat their minority learners as intelligent students, and perhaps as a result, their minority students fail in their classes (Scarcella, 139).
In Hong Kong, students stay in the same classroom with a fixed seat everyday in a same year while their teachers come to their class to teach them.
Therefore, students can have many friends who always do the same things with them. This helped to build a more close and stable relationship between students. Students are more interdependent. What are important is not me but we. In America, the people are more individualistic. People only pursue their own personal achievement and fulfillment.
Relationships between people are often many but temporary or casual. I felt people only care about themselves and I felt that they are very selfish. At that .