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Managing Culture Shock as an International Student

There’s a real buzz to moving abroad as an international student, but when homesickness strikes, Birkbeck’s Counselling Service are here to help.

On Thursday 17 October, Birkbeck’s new international and exchange students attended an in-depth workshop on the difficulties and trials of culture shock. Mrs Aura Rico of the student counselling team led the workshop, in which new students explored what it means to be away from home, surrounded by unfamiliar faces and in the centre of a bustling London. We have to admit, it’s not always the most familiar environment.

Throughout this workshop, students were given a thorough insight into what culture shock can first feel like. After welcoming her audience with a quick trivia quiz, Mrs Rico explored perceived stereotypes of Britain– noting that not all are true! Students then had the opportunity to share their first impressions of life at Birkbeck.

From the initial buzz of living abroad, to feelings of being homesick, culture shock can be felt in a number of phases. Mrs Rico explored the many ways in which culture shock can help us cherish our new experiences, and help us develop into open-minded and independent individuals. Whilst it is very natural to feel a strong culture shock, Birkbeck continues to explore the ways in which students can embrace new experiences in London without a fear of forgetting the familiar.

If you’re suffering from culture shock, or have any need to speak to someone at Birkbeck, please contact our student counselling team or Mrs Aura Rico at a.rico@bbk.ac.uk.

You are not alone!

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