Folium: Tech May Get In The Way Of Good Culture Shock via NPR

Folium: Tech May Get In The Way Of Good Culture Shock via NPR

Creative Commons Image via The LEAF Project

Folium: Tech May Get In The Way Of Good Culture Shock via NPR

Have you ever wanted to study abroad? Get to know the culture of a country that you’ve never visited before? Understand the differences between the culture of their county and yours?

Well, bringing your phone along with you might have some negative effects. You see, being in constant communication with your family at home breaks your immersion in the language of the country that you’re visiting; especially when you are almost always calling back home.

You also don’t get the experience of living alone and having to fend for yourself and figure out things for yourself when you’re constantly calling back on. By studying abroad you’re separating yourself from the conditions that you are used to in your day to day life; opening yourself up to experiences that you might not have experienced without studying abroad. Through the conglomerate of those experiences you learn how to fend for yourself; autonomy.

When you reach out for comfort from home you break away from those experiences and lessen that autonomy that you have gained by remaining so far from home and making your own decisions while you’re at it.

You’d get homesick, too, wouldn’t you? Studying abroad, away from everyone that you know; all of the familiar places and experiences? You’d want to stay up to date with what’s going on back home, wouldn’t you?

Having access to the internet while away studying abroad can definitely help you communicate and quickly research more about the culture of the country that you are visiting. However, extensive communication and googling can undermine the immersion that you should have in the language that you are learning while in the country.

When you’re flipping between the mannerism of your home country and those of the country that you are visiting you will be more prone to forget those of the country you are visiting, due to how new they will be to you. You’ll have to focus more so on the culture of the country that you are visiting to retain your knowledge of their cultures while you’re there. Try not to turn to your home country at every turn when you’re nervous or bored. It might be difficult, but it will be good for you to learn the limits you have of going without communication – find out how well you can fend for yourself without having to do so completely!

You should definitely keep in touch with your family while you’re studying abroad! However, remember to put that phone or laptop down every once in a while and immerse yourself in the culture and language of the country you’re visiting. It might not seem to important at the time but immersing yourself in the culture and the language can be pivotal to actually learning about it!

Now, don’t forget to read the main article – it’ll explain everything I’ve said much more smoothly and thoroughly for those of you who are interested in the subject, or might be interested in studying abroad in the future.

Ashleigh Slater
LEAF Contributor