Keep an open mind during your time abroad. As similar as the host culture may seem, you’re away from home and away from your usual references. At the onset, you’ll notice more visible differences such as your bedroom and bathroom being smaller than what you’re accustomed to and the local diet being different than what you imagined. Furthermore, madrileños may react differently than people do in your hometown. Let go and enjoy the ride!

The necessary acclimation process can be challenging, and you may find your feelings ranging from excitement to missing friends and family back home. Know that this is normal and don’t be afraid to reach out to your support system in Madrid.

The best way to overcome culture shock is by:

  • Establishing easily-attainable goals
  • Taking up a hobby (Meeting new people that share your interests will help!)
  • Being patient and giving yourself time to adapt – Allow yourself to have good and not-so-good days
  • Incorporating physical exercise into your daily routine to help you relieve stress
  • Trying to stay positive and constructive each day
  • Keeping a journal or blog
  • Taking advantage of your resources