Culture Shock



Many people who travel to foreign countries experience some form of culture shock. Culture shock is usually described as an intense physical and/or psychological response to a new environment. In some cases, the visitor cannot pinpoint all of the things in the new environment that are bothering him or her; one may simply feel that something is not right. In other cases, you may understand what has triggered culture shock. It could be anything from the tiny differences in how people handle everyday tasks, feelings of uncertainty when dealing with unfamiliar situations, frustration with an unfamiliar bureaucracy, or the feeling that one’s self cannot "connect" emotionally with people in the new culture. Language can be a critical element in this, depending upon the language skills which one brings to the situation. If one does not speak the language that surrounds the individual, isolation can be intensified.



  • Depression
  • Loss or Gain of Weight or Appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Withdrawal from Social Activities
  • Anger over minor frustrations
  • A desire to return home





Some people will get over their culture shock quickly, perhaps within a few weeks; others will take longer to adjust. You may experience culture shock immediately after arriving in Russia and Tomsk, or you may struggle with culture shock later, when many small frustrations have built up. We suggest that some of the best way to deal with culture shock are:

  • Participate in activities on campus, such as those offered by the TSU Cultural Center! Stay busy!
  • Socialize with other international students who can understand what you're going through.
  • Keep an open mind and be patient with Russians and with oneself.
  • Do not withdraw from others and be aloof and alone. Spending time with other people can help.
  • Try to find a new hobby, it will help you find others with similar interests.
  • Consult and speak with specialists in the International Student Services Centre at the residence hall– tel. +7 (3822) 52-95-58, or with the University Psychological Services in room 25a in the Main Building – tel. + 7 (3822) 53-47-56, .

Remember! You are not alone; there are a lot of people who are ready to help you. Just let them know.

You may also receive detailed information about different cultural events in Tomsk and TSU in the volunteering official group in Facebook.