Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools - Culture Matters

Transitions

Adjusting to another culture basically involves two transitions:

  • from living in one place to living in another place;
  • from working in one job to working in a different job.
While describing the Peace Corps experience this way may make it seem less exotic or interesting, the fact is that for all the romance and adventure, it's probably not an entirely different kind of experience than you have ever had before, but rather a familiar experience (a transition) unfolding in a very unfamiliar setting (your host country). You may never have lived and worked in Poland or Papua New Guinea before, but you probably have moved and changed jobs before.

In writing your answers to the questions that follow, think back to previous transition/adjustment experiences in your life and try to remember any lessons you learned or skills you developed:

TRANSITION ONE: MOVING TO A NEW TOWN

1. What worried you the most as you prepared to move? Did this worry turn out to be accurate?

2. How long did it take before you were comfortable or content in the new environment?

3. Can you, in retrospect, identify any distinct stages in your adjustment to the new place?

4. Identify two or three specific things you did, consciously or unconsciously, that helped you to adjust in this new place.

5. What lessons from this experience can be useful to you now in the Peace Corps?

 

 

TRANSITION TWO: CHANGING JOBS

1. What worried you the most about the job you were going to take? Did this concern turn out to be valid?

2. How long did it take for you to become comfortable and competent in the new job?

3. Can you, in retrospect, identify any distinct stages in your adjustment to the new job?

4. Identify two or three specific things you did, consciously or unconsciously, that helped you adjust to your new job?

5. What lessons from this experience can be useful to you now in the Peace Corps?

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