Educational and Cultural Interactions, Inc.
Foreign Exchange Student Programs

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Foreign exchange students go through stages of cultural adjustment. The level of the curve and the length of the cycle vary, but adjustment tends to follow a general pattern.

Stage 1: How exciting! The recently arrived Student is the center of attention and excited about everything.

Stage 2: The Thrill Is Gone. Routine sets in, the "guest" relationship is over, and the hard work of adjustment begins.

Stage 3: How Can They Live Like That? Letters from home seem slow to arrive, the food is so different, and homesickness sets in. Sometimes the Student feels "our ways are better" or "Iím tired of trying." This is normal cultural fatigue.

Stage 4: Letís Get On With It. Spring arrives and they want to make the most of the time remaining. The Student becomes more accommodating, enjoys new social relationships, and no longer feels threatened with respect to his or her own culture.

Stage 5: I Feel "At Home." Adjustment has taken place and satisfaction increases. This final stage is not reached by all students, but for some they begin to feel and act "like an American".


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