Culture Shock, Homesickness: ISAB Hosts Constructive Discussion

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Wednesday, October 11 – The International Student Advisory Board (ISAB) held its first workshop of the year on combating homesickness and feelings of culture shock within both domestic and international students.

The workshop lasted an hour and was broken up into 20 minutes of presentation, and 40 minutes of one-on-one discussion.

Daphne Orr, the director of both the ISAB and the International Student Program (ISP), lead the presentation. Orr discussed how stress builds in college students and emphasized the value in challenging American ideals to better situate oneself into the shoes of those who experience culture shock and/or general stress from homesickness and a lack of place.

After the presentation, the meeting split into discussion and was in the hands of the student board members. Attendees were asked to turn their chairs and converse based on topic questions and anything they found interesting about their cultural experience.

A few silent stares and awkward laughs, lead to board members spreading throughout the room to help facilitate conversation, and within a couple minutes, the Deans Dining hall began to roar with voices. The attendees spoke of competition, inheritance, and equality, along with what it was like coming to Oxford from either a foreign country or a different state.

“Before coming here I was so nervous,” said Board Member Jisu Lee, “Facebook groups formed and I didn’t get there jokes – I was afraid I wouldn’t fit in.”

Since coming to Oxford, Lee has found being active in the community and sharing an open dialogue with classmates has allowed her ease past culture sock and be able to call Oxford a home. Lee said she has felt homesickness for herself and hopes that the ISAB can serve as an advocate for those who feel similarly.

The next ISAB workshop will focus on deciphering American slang and learning the impact slang has on becoming a part of a culture. The workshop will take place in the New Dean’s Dining Hall on October 18, at 7:00 p.m.

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