Culture shock


As cultures evolved over time they developed certain characteristics that distinguish each one from the other. Many cultures share similarities. However, they have a lot of differences that differentiate one another. Being an international student from Saudi Arabia, who lived in the U.S., which are two completely different cultures, I feel confident to explain some of the main factors that differentiate those two cultures. Having studied abroad also allows me to express a personal feeling that international students usually go through such as cultural shock. Studying in a different country also allowed me to understand my own culture better, getting to know some main aspects such as cultural leaders.

When I first moved to Portland in 2013 all the way from Saudi Arabia it felt at the beginning that I am about to have a whole new different life. In the first few months, I had what is called the honeymoon stage that is basically being excited to explore and discover new places around and being agog to meet new people and make new friends. After a while, I started blaming myself for the moving decision. It was obviously difficult to coexist since I barely could speak English. Besides the communication issue, the food was another obstacle. I missed my hometown’s food so by then I decided to prepare it by myself. I missed up my house family’s kitchen since it was my first time cooking. The rice was little burned but it was fine. People behave differently in the U.S. than back home and that took me a while for me to get used to it. For example, hugging someone’s girlfriend to say bye that literally so strange for me. All these new experiments go to culture shock. Now this is my third year in Portland, so I am more like a normal person in this town.

Cultures vary from one another, and who form these differences are the first people who establish a culture where they determine the appropriate conduct in an action based on their beliefs or thoughts. An example of that is Ishmael who is considered as the father of Arabs. Ishmael is known for his honesty and generosity, therefore, these attributes became good manner among Arabs. He has once said “If you are alive, there is hope for a better day and something good to happen. If there is nothing good left in the destiny of a person, he or she will die.“, and that gives the hope for anyone who is living on this earth, as long as you are still alive then there must be ambition there.

To conclude, I had a culture shock when I first got here since I grow up in a different culture, however, the reason causes the variety of cultures goes to cultural leaderships. Exploring other cultures is beautiful it helps to expand our vision in order to become creative, open minded, and brilliant.


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