1. Keep an open mind and a sense of humor. While people in the U.S. may do or say things that people in your home country would not, that doesn’t mean they’re strange or unapproachable. Americans like to talk, laugh and makes jokes. Talk with your friends and your family. They will be understanding and supportive. Try to make friends with other Americans as well as people from other countries. Try new things and take the cultural differences in stride.
2. Stay positive! Remember why you wanted to participate in the program in the first place. You came here to learn and experience life in the United States. This may be a once in a lifetime opportunity, so put yourself out there. Try to speak English as much as possible. It might be difficult at first, but with regular practice you will learn more.
3. Take care of your health. Relax when you feel stressed by listening to music, taking a long walk, reading a book, or enjoying a hot shower. Get plenty of sleep. Eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly. Take vitamins to stay healthy, and wash your hands often. Consider writing in a journal to remember the best experiences and work through the difficult ones.
4. Speak English during your program. You may be uncomfortable with your skills and even feel embarrassed, but you will quickly notice that people will be patient and positive when correcting your mistakes, and your English abilities will improve by understanding these mistakes. Everyone will admire you for your willingness and desire to improve. As you learn, you will become more confident about interacting with your surroundings. Everything will get easier with time and practice. A new world of possibilities and experiences will open up for you. And because everyone around you speaks English, speaking English will enable you to make friends with people from many cultures. These friendships are some of the most rewarding elements of the program, and are a great way to overcome culture shock.
5. Don't keep silent if you need help. Talk to someone. When you’re feeling the stress of culture shock, it often helps to talk about these feelings. A friend can help ease your worries just by listening. Keeping quiet or sticking to your native language can further isolate and alienate you from your surroundings.