There are many models that exist to describe the stages of emotions
and behaviours that one experiences during culture shock and the adaptation process. All of these models include periods of highs and lows, anticipation and resolution.  One model that describes the many ups and downs of culture shock is Rhinesmith’s Ten Stages of Adjustment.

The following 10 steps of cultural adjustment outlined by Steven Rhinesmith show how culture shock can be like a roller coaster ride of emotions:

  1. initial anxiety
  2. initial elation
  3. initial culture shock
  4. superficial adjustment
  5. depression-frustration
  6. acceptance of host culture
  7. return anxiety
  8. return elation
  9. re-entry shock
  10. reintegration
Steven Rhinesmith Ten Stages of Adjustment

Steven Rhinesmith Ten Stages of Adjustment

Whilst riding the roller coaster of culture shock, a person actually follows a natural pattern of hitting peaks and troughs. The high points of excitement and interest are succeeded by lower points of depression, disorientation, and/or frustration. Everyone will experience these ups and downs in different degrees of intensity and for different lengths of time. The process is necessary in order to make the transition from one culture to another; it helps a student or traveller to balance out and adjust.

Sources: The Center for Global Education website and “Returning Home” by the Canadian Bureau for International Education, 1984, p. 7

Expat advice on various countries can be found
on this expert sit

My other articles related to culture shock can be found here:

What Is Culture Shock?

The Stages of Adjusting To A New Culture

Before You Go: What To Do Before You Leave

Overcoming Culture Shock

The Classic 5-Stage Culture Shock Model

Rhinesmith’s 10 Stages of Culture Shock

Collective Culture Shock

Advice For  Expats Moving to the Arab World

Tags: ,

This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 18th, 2010 at 9:15 am and is filed under about cross-culture, culture shock & stuff, expat advice . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.