Go Premium
Facebook Twitter Google Plus

Speaker’s Corner: Catching Up

April 26, 2015

Comments

Share Post

We realized that although we post questions for people to answer in the Speaker’s Corner videobooth, lots of people just drop in to say hi. Even though we post a question, it’s not mandatory that someone has to answer it! It’s just a suggestion, so you’re welcome to speak your mind on any topic you want! This week we thought it would be nice to just post some fun videos of people saying hi and shouting out to their home countries as well as showing off their skills. Their rap skills to be specific. BUAHAHAH NOW YOU’RE ON THE INTERNET RAPPING! :D Some cool detail about this video, one is that the two lovely ladies from Toronto we ran into on the airport bus! It was so crazy because Simon and I were getting on and they were like, “OMG, we just left a video in your videobooth and were disappointed we couldn’t meet you in person!” They were going to the airport to leave that very day from Korea after being there for three years so we had a chance to chat for a bit before I had to get back into my seat. If you’re reading this, I hope you’re adjusting well to being back home! Eat all the Tim Hortons for me! Specifically: a jalapeño cheddar bagel B.E.L.T combo with a maple cream donut and a coffee with one milk, one cream. DEEPLY SOBS.

Actually that leads me to a question I have for everyone. Have any of you experienced the reverse culture shock of returning home to your birth country after being abroad for awhile? I chatted with the ladies about how strange it can feel to return home and how even though you miss your home country, you become adjusted to the country you were living in. For example, the summertime in North America blew my mind because guys and girls wear clothing that exposes a lot of skin. I grew up with this so it shouldn’t be a shock but after living in Korea for seven years I’ve become shellshocked when I see a low cut shirt and boobs. It’s like…OMG BOOBS!!! OMG!! I CAN SEE THAT MAN’S NIPPLE! OMG LOOK AT HIS HUGE TATTOO! THOSE SHORTS ARE SO SHORT! LOOK AT THAT AMAZING BOOTY! Other things that we find strange is our inability to shut off listening. We’re used to be surrounded by Korean chatter which allows you to be in a kind of quite bubble, but once we go to an predominantly English speaking country, we can hear EVERYTHING. WE CAN HEAR THROUGH TIME! Every announcement, all the music, the chatter of the staff, the chatter on phones, it becomes really overwhelming really fast. We find ourselves getting headaches and eye strain from listening and reading everything. These are things I just wasn’t prepared for! I find we prepare ourselves for travelling away from our home country, but we don’t prepare for returning.

So let me know! Have any of you experienced reverse culture shock? Also, final thought on the the video today…how adorable was that little girl? We tried to subtitle her but we really could’t make out everything she was saying. But still, SO CUTE!

Comments

23

Share Post

Speakers Corner

HIDE COMMENTS

Speaker’s Corner: Catching Up

23 COMMENTS

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Oh yeah, I definitely had reverse culture shock for about a month after returning from Japan. Everything was different. I felt so polite and awkward and out of place. Understanding everything suddenly gave me headaches too! I did so many things that felt weird to my family, like taking off my shoes first thing, sitting on the floor with my legs on the side, different gestures, bowing… It was something no one had prepared me for.

    4 years ago
  2. JC

    Totally understand the shock of understanding EVERYTHING. To this day I still sometimes go to a cafe in Koreatown just so I am surrounded by a language I can just catch bits of. Also, had problems with menus…I forgot I could read them and didn’t need to just look for the pictures.

    4 years ago
  3. My Dad would die if he saw that little girl at the end … she looks just like Boo from Monster’s Inc and he loves that movie and the character.

    4 years ago
  4. I live in India for a long time.. when I came back to New England (Northeastern U.S.) I had a LOT of culture shock– it was so quiet.. there were no people walking around… everyone took cars everywhere.. even though I grew up there it felt so quiet and empty… In India you can just stop by your friends’ places and hang out as long as you want..even if you are doing nothing together you just hang out.. make some food.. relax.. like you would at home by yourself in the U.S. In the U.S. it seemed so… isolating.. it took me awhile to get used to it. Another time in India I lived in a really rural place, with no running water or electricity. I was teaching English and my students came to the boarding school with one plastic bag of belongings. When I left there, I just remember EVERYTHING being a shock… ice cream.. air conditioning.. hot showers.. it was this crazy completely different world than where my students lived.. but so close (even cities in India)

    4 years ago
  5. I totally feel you guys even tho I’m just a straight up Korean dude who’s been studying in the US for about only 2yrs. now I can’t even catch up conversations with who have been friends with me for 20yrs or so and also having trouble putting Korean words in a sentence. and I go “too friendly” for elders as if I’ve been American since I was born. lol. I’ll be staying in Korea for this coming summer and I’m kinda nervous for those mistakes that I’d probably make as just a Korean dude therefore have no excuse about them.

    4 years ago
  6. I totally feel you guys even tho I’m just a strict Korean dude who’s been studying in the US. now I can’t even catch up conversations with whom that have been friends with me for 20yrs or so and having trouble putting Korean words in a sentence. and I go “too friendly” for elders as if I’ve been American since I was born. lol. I’m staying in Korea for this coming summer and I’m kinda nervous if I’ll make some mistakes and since I’m just Korean dude I will have no excuse for those.

    4 years ago
  7. When I was 17, I spent nearly two months in France and I spoke only French when I was there. So when I came back to the US I had soooo much trouble speaking English. I could understand people perfectly but I had a lot of trouble forming sentences and I didn’t know how to respond in certain situations. I do remember meeting a German foreign exchange student on one of my connecting flights on the way back though and trying to teach her English curse words. I’m pretty sure her English was better than mine at the time.

    4 years ago
  8. I lived in the UK for a year as an exchange student and whenever I came back to France I’d always feel some sort of culture-shock as well. Actually I had the very opposite reaction to yours when it comes to the language since even after coming back to my home country I would stay in my language bubble. I remember having been freaked out once when a lady came to me in a shop and I was like ‘Why are you talking to me? In French?????’ Turned out she was just one of the shop workers and wanted to know if I needed anything. ‘^^

    Also when I definitely came back the hardest for me was to adjust to living in an environment with a single culture and language. When you live abroad, chances are you’ll hang out with the international community as well, which means meeting people from a lot of different countries with different experiences, and switching daily from one language to another. Fortunately I still got the internet for that^^

    4 years ago
  9. I lived in Korea for a year, and I moved back to California about 7 months ago, and the reverse-culture shock is real. Seriously. It took me a while to get out of the habit of bowing to everyone I met. I still say random Korean expressions without thinking about it. I may have only been in Korea for a year, but it was long enough that I had to readjust to American life again.

    Though I think I had a different kind of reaction to clothing back home. I got home, and suddenly I wasn’t wearing the cute skirts and dresses I’d brought back from Korea; instead I was wearing the crappy t-shirts and jeans that I left behind when I moved to Korea. I wonder why…

    4 years ago
  10. In 2010 I got a substantial tax return and I ALMOST used that money to travel to Korea, but since I had a one year old daughter and didn’t speak the language I ultimately decided to wait and used the money for more practical things. TT

    Next year, I may again have the opportunity to travel and this time I won’t let anything stop me! XD

    4 years ago
  11. Kim

    A couple of weeks ago I visited South Korea and the Your are here cafe for the first time. The speakers corner was undergoing some maintenance so I will leave my message here instead :)

    I would really like to thank you guys for inspiring me. When I first started watching your videos a couple of years ago the thought of becoming a teacher abroad had never occurred to me. It’s really because of you guys that I first thought ‘hey, why not give that a try?’. Now I am reaching the end of my two years working as an Art teacher in Malaysia, almost on the other side of the world when compared to my home country (Belgium). It has been an amazing two years with great friends, wonderful experiences and lots of travelling in Asia, and my adventure abroad will continue next year when I’ll be working as a secondary Art teacher in Yokohama, Japan! It’s always been my dream to work in Japan doing a job I love, and without you guys none of this would have ever happened. Thank you so much and please keep making awesome videos!

    4 years ago
  12. Oh yes, reversed culture shock! I am from Germany but studying in France for 4 years now. You would think that with the EU and the internet there isn’t much of a difference anymore in neighboring European countries.. but every time I go back home I feel like people are so rude on the streets, nobody says hello or sorry or thank you!!! The thing is, that’s exactly what I didn’t like about the French in the beginning. It didn’t feel genuine or honest, them saying sorry when you are the one bumping into them, always being nice even when they don’t like you, etc. I guess you get caught between the two cultures and you’ll never truly feel at home in either of them anymore.. but that might be a good thing :)

    4 years ago
  13. I was surprised to find out how fast reverse culture shock can happen. I was in Spanish speaking countries for about a month. I bumped into someone in the airport after coming back to the US and excused myself in Spanish. Then I realized I had spoken the wrong language and I was so discombobulated.

    4 years ago
  14. Has usual I love the speaker’s Corner. Make me smile and it cheer me on. Anyway, I’ve got too go back to my studues (which sucks). Thank you for the video :)

    4 years ago
  15. I think reverse culture shock is a big part of going abroad. I studied in China and Japan – moving from China to Japan was a shock (for 3 straight months, everyday, I was amazed at how clean everything was…) but going back to China after my year in Japan was also a shock. I think its because not only do you become accustomed to the country you are living in, but also because things change and that can be shocking when you expect to come back to the same environment. The biggest shock was after those almost two years in Asia, returning to America was really hard. My family had changed, my university had moved on, it seemed like nothing was the same and yet everything that I disliked hadn’t changed for the better. It took me almost half a year before I had readjusted – even then my english was still lacking and I would be surprised by little things like remembering to tip or portion sizes.

    For everyone who ever wants to go abroad, remember that the world continues changing even when you are “away” and be prepared to come back to a “home” that is a bit different than before.

    4 years ago
  16. Aww…that little kid is sooooooo adorable! :D

    4 years ago
  17. first!? again? ;)

    4 years ago