The Effects of Travelling

by Audrey Patenaude, first year student

Everyone reacts differently when situations face them. Some people tend to react agreeably to new environments, while others need to adapt more to the novelty. It’s also the case when people are travelling; they need to accept the differences and it’s not easy for all. As for me, when I’m going to be in Mexico for 10 weeks, it will be difficult. Hopefully, my group and I have meetings to prepare us to what we have to face. Two weeks ago, it was about the cultural choc, that most of us will have to face there.

  • Drawing with Eyes Covered

We did an exercise: we separated the group in two, everyone was in pairs. Then, one group had to cover their eyes and draw while the other had to dictate where to place every object on the paper. When the roles were exchanged, the drawing team had the sides inversed. So, right became left and left was in reality right. The other group who were explaining the sheet didn’t know about it… the results were catastrophic. It explained to us that it will be difficult to understand each other while talking to someone in Mexico and that we have to be patient and still try.

  • Cultural Shock… During or After the Immersion

The shock can happen at any moment and the duration can be different for anyone. A cultural shock is when a person feels stressed and disorientated about the cultural difference between his and the one he’s trying to adapt himself to. Each person can react differently: someone could be eating compulsively while another can refuse to touch any piece of food. It’s the same for sleeping or also the emotions.  At least, knowing what those reactions are makes it easier to overcome.

To have a better understanding, here’s a video about culture shock in United States:

Culture Shock – International Students in the United States

Being prepared for an immersion isn’t only physical, but also mental. Preparing us to what we will have to face is the best way to help us get through it with facility. Even if I’m a little scared about being away from my comfort for 10 weeks, I say to myself that I’m not lonely in this story.  I will have some people to help me out and that we will support each other through the adventure. No matter what, don’t give up only one in a lifetime moment because of a little fright that you can get over if you want.

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