Intercultural Communication. How Can Integration Into A New Situation Be Made Easier?

A Case Study

Essay, 2014

7 Seiten, Note: 5.0 (Schweiz)


Table of contents

1 Introduction
1.1 Growing up
1.2 My apprenticeship
1.3 After the apprenticeship
1.4 Question and Method

2.1 The culture shock phenomenon
2.2 The four phases of Culture Shock
2.3 My own culture shock cycle
2.3.1 Honeymoon phase
2.3.2 Culture shock
2.3.3 Recovery
2.3.4 Breakthrough

3 HOW to make integration easier

1 Introduction

1.1 Growing up

I grew up in a very rural region. To be precise until I was in the fourth grade, I grew up in Ganterschwil SG of the Toggenburg region. It was a very small village; in fact, the population is just around 1.200 people. So I had almost no contact to people from the city, or even other countries. There was only one girl in my class from Yugoslavia. She had a brother but he was two years older than her, so he was in class with my brother. I wouldn’t say we were friends back then, but we understood each other and had no problems. So I had a positive impression of foreigners.

Then my parents got divorced and my mother, my brother and I moved to Zuzwil SG. To my standards the village was pretty big, with almost 4.600 people living there. I had to finish 2 % more years of primary school and naturally met a lot of new people, even some people from foreign countries. In my new class there were two boys from Italy, and in other classes mostly people from Eastern Europe, if there were foreign­ers. During this time, I had a little bit more problems with people from other countries. Being the new kid I had to be teased in the first few days, but I think that is part of the process. However some guys from Bosnia and Kosovo went beyond that with the intention of beating me up. So my impression of foreign people dropped very fast.

1.2 My apprenticeship

As mentioned in the overview, I started an apprenticeship in the Model AG as a Packaging Technologist. In this time I worked at the machines in the production hall, but in the office as a designer as well. In the whole company located in Weinfelden, there were 470 employees. In the offices, mostly people from Switzerland or Germa­ny, in the production hall on the other hand, you were a foreigner if you were from Switzerland. Almost everybody was from Albania, Portugal, Yugoslavia, Turkey and so on.

During my whole time in this company I had mixed feelings working with people from foreign countries. On the plus side, they were very friendly, warm hearted and took good care of me as the new guy again. On the other hand sometimes I got pretty up­set with their behaviour. The two biggest parts were the break time, and the temper some of the workers had.

1.3 After the apprenticeship

After passing all the exams I got the opportunity to work in the design office of the Model AG. I had a great time with all my work friends there. However my boss was that kind of guy who would stop at nothing to get his success, so I got fired after two years in the office, although I was told repeatedly I would do a great job.

1.4 Question and Method

How can integration into a new situation be made easier? To analyse this question I would like to use the three step method. It is practical to see the different opinions and perspective, and focuses on the equal goals and the equal ground as well.

2 Analysis

2.1 The culture shock phenomenon

The culture shock normally applies to someone, who works or studies abroad and lives in a different culture. Since I did my apprenticeship in a company with so many employees from different countries, I think it fits to my situation as well. Culture shock is a normal reaction to living or working in a new culture. A culture shock can last three to six months or longer. The length depends on the own personality and how different the own and the new cultures are to each other. There are quite some symp­toms that come with culture shock, such as strain, sense of loss, felling rejected, con­fusion, helplessness or anxiety. Therefore physical reactions are possible, like head­aches, sleeplessness, overeating or alcoholism.

2.2 The four phases of Culture Shock

One way to explain the different phases someone experiences during a culture shock, is the four periods model.

illustration not visible in this excerpt

1. The honeymoon phase: All the differences between the own and the new culture are part of new observations and discoveries. Because of that, they appear in a good light.
2. The culture shock: The shock is already the second step. The differences appear stronger each and every day. Some of the behaviour seems strange or even of­fensive, so one forms a stronger defensive attitude.
3. The recovery / reintegration: After a while the culture becomes normal, and some situations are familiar and become routine.
4. The break through: The last phase is a long process and everybody has to deal with it eventually. There are five groups which result from the break through:


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Intercultural Communication. How Can Integration Into A New Situation Be Made Easier?
A Case Study
ZHAW - Zürcher Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaften  (Zentrum für Aviatik)
5.0 (Schweiz)
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Buch)
544 KB
intercultural, communication, integration, into, situation, made, easier, case, study
Arbeit zitieren
Florian Bühler (Autor:in), 2014, Intercultural Communication. How Can Integration Into A New Situation Be Made Easier?, München, GRIN Verlag,


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