Cover Image
close this bookAquaculture - Training Manual (Peace Corps, 1990, 350 p.)
close this folderChapter nineteen: Program design - week ten
View the documentSession X-1: Culture shock
View the documentSession X-2: Processing of pond construction project (and wheelbarrows)
View the documentSession X-3: Final interviews
View the documentSession X-4: Final trainee evaluation of training program

Session X-1: Culture shock

Total time: I hour, 40 minutes

Note: This session design is adapted from Session T-108 from the Small-Scale Marine Fisheries Training Manual, available from ICE.


· Identify different stages of culture shock;
· Begin to develop strategies for coping with culture shock;
· Share trainers' experiences with trainees.

Overview: As the end of training draws near, some trainees may already be experiencing some nervous anticipation about adjusting to their country of assignment. If this program has been conducted Stateside, they are preparing to depart to their countries and begin language training. If they are already in their country of assignment this session may be held earlier, or may be held at this point as trainees prepare to leave the familiar training environment to go to their posts. The most valuable aspect of this session is the time trainees spend in small groups, discussing their feelings and expectations about culture shock and sharing ideas for coping with it.

5 minutes

1. The trainer introduces the session, lists the objectives of the session, and presents a flow chart of the culture shock process.

40 minutes

2. The trainer tells the trainees how they will be dividing into smaller groups. They are told that they will be in their groups for 40 minutes. They should use their time in approximately the following manner to discuss the topics listed here (have this on newsprint):

· 10 minutes: Ways to cope with problems in stage two

· 5 minutes: Additional feelings that may be generated in stage three

· 10 minutes: Additional reactions that may occur in stage four

· 10 minutes: Hopes and fears regarding their experience with culture shock, how they cope, and their ability to adjust to the new culture

· 5 minutes: Prepare a short statement that summarizes the group's discussion.

The trainer tells the trainees that one group should write their ideas on newsprint for each of the first four topics (assign these, i.e. Group 1 records ways to cope, Group 2 records additional feelings, etc.), and each group should prepare a summary statement. Each group will need to choose a recorder and a spokes-person to present the group's list and statement.

30 minutes

3. Each group presents their list and statement, and highlights the most important points from their small group discussion.

5 minutes

4. The trainer summarizes the points that have been made during the presentations.

20 minutes

5. Several members of the staff share their own experiences that are appropriate to the points that have been raised.

Resources and Materials:

· Prepared newsprint with session objectives, flow chart (see example below), and time frames and topics for step number two above.

· Blank newsprint, markers, masking tape.

Trainer No · :

· As trainees present their lists, staff members should jot down notes about points that especially touch them and about which they have experiences to share.

· Everyone (staff and/or trainees) may not agree completely with the way the flow chart presented here breaks down the steps of culture shock. That is not really an important issue, as of course each experience is unique and people react in different ways. The most valuable aspects of this session are the sharing of ideas and feelings that takes place among the trainees, and that trainees take some time to acknowledge and focus on the fact that they will probably have some sort of culture shock experience to contend with as they adjust to a new situation. The flow chart provides excellent food for thought and brings up important issues that will stimulate the trainees' thoughts and discussions.

· The Master Trainer should point out that giving this matter some thought in advance will not prevent the feelings and reactions from arising, but may make it easier to understand and cope with whatever the trainee does experience.

· An example of a flow chart follows: