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Friday, October 3, 2008

Final Stage Of Adjustment Begins

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 Final Stage Of Adjustment Begins

At about the eleventh month, the final stage of adjustment begins.  You may have learned a more functional way to deal with your stress.  You are more adept at communicating both verbally and non-verbally, giving you instant feelings of success.  You have learned to be more assertive in identifying what your wants and needs are and seeking out those things when appropriate.  You utilise withdrawal more for a time to retreat, rest and recoup rather than as a way to isolate yourself. As you look back to earlier months you feel a sense of achievement in all that you have accomplished. 

Full integration into the host country may only begin at the end of the second year.  You see yourself and your family as both participants and active members of your community with a sense of comfort and affection for your lifestyle.  Moments of sadness and feelings of loss may still be some thing that you experience, however, the frequency is less and you have the ability to grieve and then get on with your life. 

The above stages of adjustment are based on general experiences of a person's inter-cultural adaptation.  Each individual may experience some uniqueness in the  amount of time they find themselves in each of the stages and some persons may even find themselves 'stuck' and unable to progress onto a different level. 

There are many resources available for assisting in your cultural adjustment.  ICAC's Newcomers support groups.  ICAC Family Counselling Services and Orientation Program as well as orientation services of women's organisations, to name a few, can shed a little light on your feelings of despair and provide some real practical strategies for successful adjustment. 

The good news is that nearly everyone lives to tell about their international living experience and many of us even talk fondly about it.

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