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Before you board the plane

Just a few things to know.

Your trip will bring an unexpected perspective on what it means to be immersed in a different culture. It is important to do your research and be knowledgeable about study aboard programs. 


Culture shock

Culture shock is the feeling of disorientation experienced by someone who is suddenly subjected to an unfamiliar culture, way of life, or set of attitudes. It may not appear in the beginning but the longer the trip the more culture shock you may experience.

 

How to cope

  • Prepare well for your experience.
  • Know how to sort out various practical problems on your arrival and who can help you.
  • Make yourself aware of any obvious culture differences.
  • Always keep an open mind and do not expect to find things as you have them at home.
  • Remember that you have traveled far to learn about and experience a new culture, and to represent your country and school.
  • Treat everyone you meet with respect.

 

Jet lag

Jet lag happens because rapid travel throws off our circadian rhythm - the biological clock that helps control when we wake and fall asleep.

 

How to beat it

  • Leave home well-rested. Begin shifting your sleep schedule and meal times two days before you depart. Even shifting 30-minutes will fight fatigue and shift your body’s natural rhythm.
  • Drink water. Beat jet lag by staying hydrated by drinking water on the plane. Avoid alcohol and anything caffeinated during your flight. Both can dehydrate your body, mess up your internal clock and exaggerate jet lag symptoms.
  • Adjust before heading home again. Take the precautions you would before you left for the trip.
  • Move around regularly and exercises to keep the blood flowing. Walking in the plane cabin and stretching in the airport will help with fatigue and soreness.
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