Key words of mobility

  • Learner or student
  • During the work placement

Cultural shock The definition of culture shock is the trauma you experience when you move into a culture different from your home culture.

A communication problem that involves the frustrations that come with the lack of understanding; the verbal and nonverbal communication of the new culture, its customs and its value systems are only a few of the problems.

The differences that people may experience include lack of food, unacceptable standards of cleanliness, different bathroom facilities and fear of personal safety

Stage 1:  Excitement and fascination with the new culture.  This is where they will overlook minor problems and look forward to learning new things.

 Stage 2:  Crisis period.  This is where excitement turns to disappointment and there are more and more differences that occur.  Problems start to be overwhelming and irritating and may use the "fight-back" technique by saying rude remarks or making jokes.

 Stage 3:  Adjustment phase.  This is where they learn to accept the culture and to change their negative attitude to a positive one.

 Stage 4:  Acceptance and Adaptation phase.  This is where they will feel at home and become involved in activities and may enjoy some of that countries customs.

 Stage 5:  Re-entry shock.  This is experienced upon returning to the home country and the return may follow with initial euphoria, crisis or disenchantment.  It may be hard to readjust and may feel like they are not accepted.


Culture adaptation is the evolutionary process by which an individual modifies his personal habits and customs to fit in to a particular culture. It can also refer to gradual changes within a culture or society that occur as people from different backgrounds participate in the culture and share their perspectives and practices.


Adaptation refers to accommodation, change and evolution. Culture embraces the areas of language, history, dress, food, holidays, traditions, religion, music and other forms of art. Culture is the way we do life. By adapting our culture we change our way of life in subtle or more drastic ways.


Languages can undergo cultural adaptation. The phenomenon of Spanglish combines words from one language with another to create new words that do not officially belong to either language. Religions can undergo cultural adaptation by blending traditional beliefs with values of the surrounding society. Foods can undergo cultural adaptation clearly seen in the "Mexican pizza" with chorizo, guacamole and chilli pepper toppings.


Cultural adaptation can enrich a culture by adding to its traditions and practices from outside sources. Some cultural purists and separatists fear that cultural adaptation leads to the loss of cultural identity.


Cultural integration refers to an interaction of people from a variety of cultures. This integration will include people with different skills, from different religions, professionalism and ethnic groups. Cultural integration leverages the existing differences to benefit an organization as a whole.

Mobility Booklet, TAPT - Transfer of Administrative and Pedagogical Tools useful to manage mobility projects (2012 - 1-FR1-LEO05-35954 - Lifelong Learning Programme – Leonardo da Vinci: Transfer of Innovation).