Lucy
Subject: Fine Art
Student status: International Graduate from USA
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Transcript:

At first, when I first came over there was sort of this euphoria like I had done it. I had made this happen for myself and then you start to settle in and you realise that on a Friday night you don't know where to go and you don't know who to call and no-one calls you. You realise that you're going to have to put in a lot of energy to access other people and the other thing too is that when you, I think when you know all of those invisible cues of your own language, of your own culture you can easily suss out people that you connect with and that you want to spend time with.

You don't,  you lose that ability to, you lose any instinct that you have about people so you meet people and you spend time with them and you realise "I don't like this person at all" and so I think that you know, it's just the constant having, constantly having to push yourself to meet more people.

It wasn't an easy transition and I think the process of culture shock takes a lot longer. It's not a month; it's not two months; it takes, I think it took a year for the fog to lift and then it took about another year after that for me to feel like, for the anxiety, for that to, for me to decompress from that and feel like actually "I am fine". I mean I still to this day encounter things, little challenges every day because I don't, I will never have the instincts of being from here and being from this culture so it's you know, it's a constant challenge even the smallest things every now and then to put the pieces together but now it just doesn't cause me anxiety.

It doesn't stress me out because I've …through that process I've become accustomed to being the outsider in a sense. I mean I don't … I'm not saying that in terms of feeling isolated but it's part of who I am now … going through that process in the same … I used to say that it was … I was worried about actually going back because I thought that it would …that it was my accent was like a scar that people recognised as somebody who's gone through that experience and so they would ask you about it. If I were to lose that I felt that I would have a big problem because people wouldn't recognise that I had gone through that experience. At first being the outsider is really, really difficult and then you start to accept that and that becomes part of you and it took a long time to get to that point where I was OK with it and I didn't have anxiety about it.