top of page

Cultural Shock…you need to be prepared for it! (Whatever it is)

Updated: Aug 17, 2023

A note from Thrivve’s founders for upcoming international students.

You know, most people will experience some difficulties adjusting to their new country and culture. Especially if they are first-time travelers, as many of you are, and this is perfectly normal!

Cultural adjustment, or “culture shock”, comes from being cut off from things you are familiar with, like your food, family, friends, people, music… and this shock is not the result of just one event, and it doesn’t strike suddenly, or without cause. It usually builds up slowly from a series of small events. Things as little as going to the grocery shop and not knowing where things are or what products you are looking at.

So what can you expect when this shock hits you? We’ll be honest. It’s going to be hard!

Leaving your country behind to live somewhere else is basically to die and be reborn at the same time…

Before you leave, you are in a constant countdown, in which you are falling little by little until the day comes! You find yourself at the airport with your family and friends, saying goodbye to you without the certainty of knowing when or where you will see each other again, and as the time comes to go to your gate, everything you are feeling comes to the surface! You break down crying while they hug you as if it were the last time, and it is at that moment, that damn moment, that something inside you breaks...

In your house, there will be an extra plate on the table, an extra room, and a bed... Your family and friends will miss you, cry and begin, in due time, their grieving process. Realizing that they must let you go and continue moving forward at some point because life will not stop because of you. And they will be right about it! But that process, the process of letting you go, is exactly what will make them understand the value you have and how great

of a person you are. It will make them understand that… with you, things were more than just laughter and good times, but also that you were there when they needed a shoulder to cry on or an ear when they needed somebody to listen. But soon, they will adapt to the idea that you are no longer there... And it is understandable, not only because it is necessary but also because for those who stay, the process is easier. They are still surrounded by the world they know, family, friends, and their culture.

You, on the other hand, will face an entirely different process. There will come a time, while you are freezing of cold, when you will wonder if all of this is worth it. While the distance that separates you from your loved ones withers you, you will doubt a thousand and one times if you made the right decision... because it hurts, it hurts every day. It hurts when you wake up, when you take your morning shower and when you go to sleep. But come on! We’ll move on anyway, right? Since the world waits for no one and you always have to keep moving to at least be able to stay in the same place.

As if that was not enough, this strange phenomenon will happen to you in which your mind leaves your previous life as if on pause, frozen in time. As if the life you left behind will remain still… Although you clearly know that it won’t, it just seems to be an inevitable feeling.

The first time that you return home, it will seem as if no one cared that you left, as if everything you experienced in your home never happened, and it was all a dream. But it’s not like that! Even though you will not be able to see glimpses of your past life, you carry all those experiences within you.

So we ask you, today more than ever...

Be PATIENT, because the path you are about to take is not easy, and it will take time for you to see the results. But believe us, it is worth it!

Trust yourself. Trust the decisions you have made, in the vision you have set for yourself and in the fact that you have everything to achieve it. Be strong because life will test you more than once.

But above all… ENJOY. Because you are about to be reborn! A new world full of possibilities and adventures awaits you, and you risk losing moments if you don’t pay attention. Don’t let pain cloud your sight or nostalgia bend your heart. On the contrary, let all that pain be your motivation for each step you take because it was you who managed to take this moment and only you will decide how to live it.

We wish you the best! And we applaud you because, from now on, you have started a journey that few dare to live…

Did you enjoy this article and find it useful? Join our THRIVVE community on Slack. Help is just a question away!

26 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page