Culture Shock?

So if you’ve talked to me recently you’ve heard that I’m not super excited to go abroad like most students in my position. I know how blessed I am to have the opportunity to go abroad, and yet, I’m still not excited. In fact, I’ve been stressing over how difficult it is going to be. I’m going to be in Russia!!! Ah!

Initially I was super excited to go, but as this past semester progressed I became disillusioned. I was ready to leave school, but not necessarily ready (language ability, mentally and emotionally) to study abroad in Russia. In a sense, I began to experience culture shock without being abroad. At first I was ecstatic; planning what museums I would visit, thinking about how cool it was going to be, and trying to find places to dance or make art.  City placement hindered my plans, because I am not studying in St. Petersburg like I was hoping. I am happy to be going abroad at all and so, I have been trying to find cool things to do.

I am beginning to get excited as I attempt to pack my life into a suitcase. The one thing left to stress about now is, “Will I be able to speak?” Obviously I will be able to speak, but I know my vocabulary is not where it should be for Russian. Over break I was supposed to study and read Russian only and listen to Russian, in order for the language barrier to not be so difficult. I never seem to be able to accomplish goals like that, because they are easy to push aside without any deadlines. The good news is that I do have some Russian vocabulary, and I am willing to work hard over the semester as well as have fun.  It’ll be different from some of the study abroad experiences my friends have had, or are having, but that’s the beauty of it, it’s different, and exciting, and terrifying.

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4 thoughts on “Culture Shock?

  1. Dear Kalie!! My heart overflows for you and your much awaited time in Russia. My 2 cents on your current problems: I think going into the experience disillusioned, feeling inadequate, and terrified is GOOD. That’s actually the proper attitude; anything else would be foolishness. (I was one of the foolish ones who thought I was entering a fairy-tale land.) Keep your chin up: it’s tough but totally worth it!

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