Moving from one country to another is interesting to people who love to experience and explore new things. Nevertheless, it is a pain to other people because the strange land means a new life linked with worries and pressure brought by cultural clashes. People who experience acculturative stress often consider it tough and confusing to adjust in the new environment with a wide range of strange things such as language, climate, customs, and food.
Acculturative stress is often defined as a culture shock. The term was actually coined out by Chicago’s “Institute of International Education”. It is said that sufferers of this stress consider that the host country makes them feel bad.
As per its definition in the history, it is considered as the reduction of people’s health status. People who transfer to another country is struggling to adjust and adapt in another culture, socially, and psychologically. More so, the stress comes from many differences in norms, values, social customs, politics and education standards between the original culture and host culture. Other researchers believed that a small number of similarities between two cultures can worsen the acculturative stress.
Another alternative term for acculturative stress is culture shock. There are times that immigrants are not confident or comfortable with the country. Only after two months do they find it easy to breathe and live again. There are no more sad thoughts or more tears in the next few months as compared to the first previous months. They are more likely to experience depressive symptoms that attribute to this higher degree of stress, brought by the process and status of immigration.
Among the many international students, the Asians are more likely to experience acculturative stress. Although everything can be learned from the internet about the country, once they move their lives to the place, the customs, social values, cultures are different. Everything is completely strange in practice.
Other people are shocked because of the language of other countries. Being fluent in English is not an assurance that immigrant people can comfortably communicate with others. Others are even struggling in delivering a good and smooth speech. The spoken-English is a lot different with what one has learned from other country in terms of speed, word choice and accent.
There are times that what one considers as good in one country may be also good in another country. However, this may not always be the case as it is often difficult to catch up with the speaking speed of other people in their daily language that is filled of jokes, idioms and slangs.
At times, the residents of America often find it difficult to understand the spoken-English language of an immigrant because of awkward expression and pronunciation of ideas. Other immigrants also suffer from this stress because of language incompetence that they feel like they are in closed bottle. Some cannot have car or jobs because of their incompetent communication skills, particularly in a dynamic environment.
With proper practice of the language and patience, the skills can still be learned as the days go by. Acculturative stress will soon pass that specific treatment from professionals and social support from people can help immigrants regain their confidence and overcome their acculturative stress!