Read this article about Cultural Awareness
You will never perfectly adjust to life in a foreign culture, but that is ok, you going into this with clear perspective will allow you the to be flexible when things get hard.
Cultural Differences Experienced While Teaching/Living in Asia
Reverse Culture Shock
Article on Stages of Reverse Culture Shock: http://livewellucsdtravel.blogspot.com/2010/01/overcoming-reverse-culture-shock.html
Read a Book About the Country You’re Going To
If the country you will be teaching in will be China, then read book titled Pretty Woman Spitting. If you are going elsewhere to teach then please find a book written by someone who has taught English in the country you will be going to live.
Happy Time Go Fast: Invaluable Lessons from Teaching English Abroad By Wes Weston
When the Cherry Blossoms Fall: My Life as English Teacher in Japan By Kim Hozton
School Days in Thailand: Stories from the Heart By Larry Welch
Articles on Chinese Culture (for students planning to teach in China)
In the book, Pretty Woman Spitting, the author begins with a description of her personality, and throughout the story, she describes the cultural differences between America and China and adjustments she needed to make. Read the book before answering the questions below. It is available on amazon.com in Kindle format for $0.99.
1. The author said she felt like she was constantly in the spotlight and people were pointing and staring. Also, she felt that the local food was hard to adapt to and she disliked people spitting in public. What do you think your natural reaction would be? What are more empowering attitudes and reactions that you could choose?
2. In the classroom, your students will sometimes get off track and ask you questions about your personal life (boyfriend, married, etc,) and questions about Western lifestyle. The author tells of a time when her 45 students asked her to sing a pop song to them. How would you handle these situations and why?
3. What are some strategies to teach about Western culture without disregarding the core curriculum you may be asked to use?
Read a biography about an English teacher who taught in the country you want to teach in, such as those mentioned above. List 10 cultural differences that you learned about that may at some point cause you stress.