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Analysing The Culture Shock For International Students English Language Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Language
Wordcount: 2967 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Students from all around the world come to UK for building their career and to take the highly recognized qualifications. During their studies in the uk they face many challenges and the reality is different from their expectations. This report focuses on the experiences and issues faced by international students in the UK.

The most common challenge is the culture shock. Culture shock results due to the new and unknown culture of uk for the most of the students and results in the stress, anxiety, frustration, loneliness and lower results in the studies. Oberg has explained it in his model. Making foreign friends, keeping close in touch with family and remaining busy in the academic activities are some ways of reducing the effects of culture shock.

Plagiarism is also a problem faced by the students from developing countries as they don’t know the importance of referencing. This report elaborates the importance and ways to avoid plagiarism and ways to learn how to reference your work.

This report discusses the issues like teacher student role and the expectations and the different roles of the teachers in different parts of the world and their main focus.

Finally this report emphasis on the importance of time management and working part time to meet the daily expenses by the students in the uk and what problems they face while working in the uk and improper time management. This report has also explained the experiences of the international students on the above mentioned issues.


Thousands of students around the world travel to UK for study form the highly prestigious universities to build a brilliant career. They entre UK with high expectations and thinks that studying in the UK will be like a dream come true. This report highlights the experience of the students who has come to UK for study. This report will discuss the main issues which are faced by the international students in the UK and how they adjust in the new environment. The aim of this report is to show the life of a foreign student in the UK and how they manage all the challenges they face in the UK. This report will also help in understanding the foreign students approach in uk. This report will discuss issues like culture shock, plagiarism and referencing, teacher student role in UK, part time work and the time management relating to the international students while they are studying in UK.

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Culture shock

Culture shock is the most common problem that foreign students face when they come to study in UK. The shock which people have to face when they are confronted with a new and unknown culture is called culture shock, say Elisabeth Marx (2001a). The experience of an unknown culture is always a surprise because the reality is usually different from the expectations, she added. This means that now the students have to live, adjusts and perform in an unknown culture. According to Elisabeth Marx (2001b), the symptoms of the culture shock are isolation, tension and confusion, feeling depressed and guilty, reduction in the performance, excitement and exhilaration, frustration, feeling lonely and helpless.

Students from different countries travel to different universities of UK for their education. Every country has different culture and norms. So they have to adapt in a culture which has different language which causes communication problems. Even if someone knows the language very well, the different accents and different meanings of different phrases in different parts of the world of the same words can cause misunderstandings for them. Similarly people have different food priorities; lives in different climate, have different dress preferences, and have different social behaviors and different religious norms e.g. in the subcontinent the climate is very warm and people wear light clothes but in UK one have to wear heavy clothes as it remains cold most of the year. This can cause irritations to the students who are not in use of wearing such clothes. Similarly in the UK the accent of spoken English is different like French accent, Italian accent, polish accent etc while the students from different parts of the world may find all these difficult to understand. Similarly the food priorities are different in the UK giving more preference to fast food then in other parts of the world. These differences cause frustration and all the symptoms discussed above of the culture shock resulting sometimes in severe depression and loss of confidence. Students then start avoiding the host national students and starts feeling complex. Culture shock can also cause some physical health problems as well. Changes in the diet and mental stress sometimes make students seriously ill.

Oberg (1960) has explained the culture shock in a model. In his model of adaptation, culture shock has four phases i.e. honeymoon phase, culture shock, recovery phase and adjustment phase. In the honeymoon phase the students are excited and ambitious due to the new environment and ignore any complex matters that they don’t understand as a part of their learning process. They take everything positively and their judgments are reserved at this time. After the honeymoon phase the culture shock sets in with the negative emotions coming out and the unknown culture is taken as unpleasant experience. Everything foreign is taken as hostile and sometimes stress and boredom is the consequence. They feel themselves guilty and consider the decision of foreign education as wrong because of reduced academic performance. The next phase is recovery phase in which students start compromising between their expectations and reality. Then they start accepting and understanding the unknown culture. They realize that they have to work out this problem and concentrate on their future goals. Finally students accept the new environment and adjust with it by devising ways to cover up their weakness and understanding the new culture. (quoted in Elizabeth Marx, 2001).

There are some ways which will help students to reduce the effect of culture shock. Students should keep in mind that culture shock is temporary and normal and this will not affect them permanently and it happens to everybody. Making friends from the host culture will help to understand their culture easily. Keep yourself busy in academics as well as sporting activities and keep in contact with your family so that you will not miss them much. Try to take the food which you are used to eat in their country and exercise well so that you remain physically well.

Plagiarism and referencing


The word plagiarism is refer to practices which involve deliberate taking another person words either directly or indirectly and claiming it as personal ideas when writing or researching, it also seen to be educational offence in Britain, it has been a major concern when studying in United Kingdom Since mid-1990s.this give more recognition to necessity of proper referencing practice to avoid plagiarism. Foreign student especially from the African and the Asia find it difficult to adapt to the issue of plagiarism, for example, majority of the student in the Nigerian university, about 95% have no or little knowledge about plagiarism, and coming from such background to studying in United Kingdom is quite challenging and difficult to cope.

Angelil-carter (2000) make it critics which refers tutors have much emphases on referencing is like a fetish who engage in to thinking substitute (p, 130), also another critics from Levin which also feel that asking student to cite all source of work ,` insisting they learn to dance with their shoe tied together` (2003, p.7) he later argue academic and the administrators that is quite a time to recognised plagiarism among student unconsciously` work is inevitable and perfectly reasonable (Levin, 2003, p.7). Levin point of view is that student can get bogged because of the responsibility to search for the right source to back their piece of work or assertions, to know their capability to write without depending on others.

Strategy to avoid plagiarism

Reference every piece of work and cite references correctly.

When writing a report or easy the source of the material used must be acknowledge.

Completely understanding of material use is very important when paraphrasing and try as much as possible to use personal words.

Quotation mark to indicate the citation and the verbatim text with material should enclose

When using a journal, instruction that is provided by the author should be understood.

When there probability about a particular concept or fact, it should be referenced.


Studying in UK, more emphases are given to references, student studying in United Kingdom from other country where important is not given to references are often surprise because of the significant attached by the university or institute. Student Referencing a research work, it will show the appropriate source the student find his information, though many institution around the world do not keen to references. For example, Nigeria do not shows much interest to referencing compare to the rule that guild the system of studying here in England. Referencing in England is recognised even in social and political context not just the academic system. It is an aspect of societal system of value that seriously supports the knowledge of the credible right of other property. The British institutions lead the driving force of proper references to limit the Increasing rate of plagiarism.

Importance of referencing

Spreading of ideas

Referencing gives opportunity to the writer and the readers to build their own ideas and knowledge. It assists them to locate the citation source. The significant of bibliography and the reference list at the end of every articles journal, will identically relate the source of research. Understanding the bibliography help to establish knowledge from original source to another, it will help to build learning round the study.


It s also important to list the reference of a research to enable the reader identifying which authors or source give the writer the shape and the direction used in the research. This will also help to introduce new ideal to author that will also generate and expand their knowledge.

Criteria of making

Studying in post graduate level, providing relevant evidence and proper referencing is very crucial in grading the assignment of student. Perfect referencing can distinguish different grade in the level of study.

Avoid plagiarism

Solving the problem of plagiarism to avoid educational offence, accurate references can help to avoid it. The grey line between deliberate cheating and carelessness, references assist to prove the ignorant of it.

An appreciation

Ideas are required from education with a prospective to strive. Strictly testing has to be applied and subjected to examination of others, this can be realised by good preparation, researching and presentation of work within the reach of public as a responsibility of formidable writers, and this can take long time to achieve. Referencing is then, to express appreciation and given regard to work of others. This is about given gratitude, respect and honouring the writer and acknowledging them.


Among all the relations in the world, teacher student relationship would consider as one of the transparent relation.

All teachers have high expectations for students; their expectations may varies from student to student. Teachers have the great observation power with themselves, they have their individual views for every student who is in connect with them, they find the strength and weakness of a student and then they guide them, make them learn how to overcome with their weaknesses and how to get specialised or polish their strength.

The students who come to uk for studies they belongs to different countries and in every countries the pattern of learning or teaching (studies) differ from each other say for example the students are not aware of the professional presentations who belongs to Pakistan they don’t know how to present themselves in front of others they never did presentation work while studying in their country so they get nervous for the first time presenting themselves but this is very common here in uk to work on presentations because uk studies are more highlights the practical knowledge rather than the knowledge which students get from the books and other study materials.

Problems faced by different students with uk teachers:

Lack of bonding.

Teachers have high expectation.

Teachers are just to guide here, not to feed students with spoon.

Lack of understanding about the concepts.

Teachers are more interested to build the qualities of the students.

Difficult for students to cope up with the teaching skills.

Merits and demerits:

Students may build their qualities but they don’t get aware of their weaknesses.

They learn how to perform well along with the groups but their individual skills may suffer.

Students start presenting themselves to the world with more confidence but they face feeling of frustration, facing the problems while learning.

Teachers are highly experienced here in terms of practical knowledge so they are tough towards students, sometime this may discourage the students.

Working part time – meeting your expenses

In uk , students come from many different countries such as India, Pakistan, Nigeria and all have their home countries currency say for example a student from India have to convert his money from rupees to pound Because of the low value of his currency as compare to the uk currency he will go short of money in hand and he will start searching part time jobs he got disfocussed from his studies and once anyone start working here in uk he wants to earn more and more.

Some of the students came here to earn money they thought of earning more money by working part time at two, three places and just start making money.

There are so many expences which a student has to fulfill to meet the basic needs. The basic expenses are such as house rent, food, clothing, travelling etc.

When any person come to the new country he doesnt know anything about that country so he will misuse that money because of the lack of knowledge about the country expences, when we move to a place which is developed and have high quality of food and facilities so it will charge even more to meet out the expenses.

Normally, we have a huge excitment while visit a new country to see the different places, different cities, different towns, historical places, and even fun do places. When we start enjoying ourselves with all this special activities we have to invest money on it because without it nothing will come in our hand so, to meet those area of excitment one has to work for it and normally the mentality says that we can invest more easily when we earn more say for example if we had a conversion of a currency from rupees to pound it will problem a student bcauseof the fear of getting money short in his hand because he had limited amount in is hand or he borrowed limited amount from his place so, if he starts earning in pounds it will be easy to invest that money happily because that he considered as a extra money to meet out his expences than he will enjoy more and feel free to spend his money which he earned here.

Factors influencing the topic (working part time-meeting your expenses)

It affects the studies.

It will also affect the health as well.

It will disfocussed the mind in different direction.

Some time it will resulted into big losses such as penalties, re-examintion fees etc.

Some time students will start doing work illegally.

It will result into lower grades that will impact bad senario overall on the professional career.

Time management

Time management is one of the most important aspects which play an important role while studying in uk. A student who come across from another country follows the different lifestyle belongs to different culture and society as well.

Lots of job has to be done on time here in uk, the only person who can be successful here is the one who manages his time well, who will always keep on trying to accomplish the work before the deadlines.

Importance of time management:

It helps in managing the work and accomplished it before the deadlines.

It creates a different image in the professional career.

It allows students to learn how to value the time.


Students coming to uk from different parts of the world face problems like culture shock , time management , part time job, different teacher student role in the uk and avoiding plagirism. This report has covered all these aspects in the students life in uk and how they can avoid these problems. This report also has highlighted the ways to easily adapt the new studing experience and how to cope up the new challenges.


Marx ,2001 breaking through culture shock , 1st edition Nicholas Brealey in association with cultural press.


Colin Neville, 2007. The complete guide to referencing and avoiding plagiarism


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