March 1, 1997: Headlines: Culture Shock: ASME: Culture shock upon leaving the Peace Corps is much worse than the arrival

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Peace Corps Library: Culture Shock: March 1, 1997: Headlines: Culture Shock: ASME: Culture shock upon leaving the Peace Corps is much worse than the arrival

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-115-42.balt.east.verizon.net - 151.196.115.42) on Saturday, May 22, 2004 - 4:23 pm: Edit Post

Culture shock upon leaving the Peace Corps is much worse than the arrival

Culture shock upon leaving the Peace Corps is much worse than the arrival

Culture shock upon leaving the Peace Corps is much worse than the arrival

Taking Out the Sting

One point both agree on is that the culture shock upon leaving the Peace Corps is much worse than the arrival. Before arriving at a specific assignment, every volunteer goes through a three-month group introductory session in his or her host country, including job and language training. This introduction takes the sting out of the transition.

"Peace Corps really pampers you on the way in. You have this incredible introduction, you're with a group of friends, and you have this strong support group," says Stacy, "But once you say your goodbyes on your way out, you're pretty much on your own."

Meany echoes that sentiment. "When you go there, everything's new. You have a new job, you have new friends, you're speaking a new language. There's so much to think about and so much to do that you don't really feel the culture shock."

Not so for the return, she says. "Home is a place that you know well and where you feel comfortable, and yet when you get there it's not what you're used to and it's not comfortable, so just on a basic level, it's all wrong."




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Story Source: ASME

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