Eyes Wide Open

Culture shock is the feeling of disorientation and discomfort due to the lack of familiar cues in the environment (Martin & Nakayama, 2018, p. 340). I think we all come across culture shock at some point in our life. Whether we are traveling across the world, or people from other countries are coming to the United States. I think regardless we experience a sense of disorientation or discomfort.

I had a friend who married an American and moved here from Australia. I remember her expressing the huge culture shock she dealt with. When she came to America, she expressed that things were just different. A lot had to deal with the food. Here in America we call ketchup, ketchup. In Australia they call ketchup tomato sauce.

Her husband told me a story about when he went to visit her. He told me about his love for krispy kreme donuts. The one thing about it, donuts is they are considered a dessert. When he woke up one morning to get donuts, they weren’t even opened. The stores do not open until five in the evening.

My friend really had an adjustment period. Adjustment is the third phase and is where migrants learn the rules and customs of the new cultural context (Marking & Nakayama, 2018, p. 342). I know she had a hard time being here in America. It was hard to get use to our customs. The way we drive was hard to get use to. They drive on the left side of the road, we drive on the right. Getting use to our food, driving, and even just our holidays is hard. She became overwhelmed and uncomfortable. She eventually was able to push through it, and lives a happy comfortable life here in the United States.


Martin, J. N., & Nakayama, T. K. (2018). Intercultural Communication in Contexts (7th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.


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