You have stepped off the plane into a new cultural world. Initially you may experience a sense of overwhelming fascination and awe. Everything around you is new: a different language, different dress, or a confusing transit system. Slowly you begin to adapt. You begin to notice certain cultural nuances. This process takes time.
Culture is "an integrated system of learned behavior patterns (образцы поведения) that are characteristic of the members of any given society. Culture refers to the total way of life of particular groups of people. It includes everything that a group of people thinks, says, does and makes - its systems of attitudes and feelings. Culture is learned and transmitted from generation to generation."
You may have heard these words - Culture Shock (культурный шок (психологическая травма в результате столкновения с культурой, резко отличной от собственной)) - already and possibly within a negative context. Conflict in our lives, however, does not have to be negative. It can be used as a source of motivation, introspection, and change.
Culture shock is defined as a psychological disorientation that most people experience when living in a culture markedly different from one’s own. Culture shock occurs when our "...cultural clues, the signs and symbols which guide social interaction, are stripped away. ...A difficult part of this process for adults is the experience of feeling like children again, of not knowing instinctively the ‘right’ thing to do."
Symptoms of culture shock include: homesickness (тоска по дому, ностальгия), boredom, withdrawal, excessive sleep, compulsive eating/drinking, irritability, stereotyping host nationals, hostility towards host nationals.
Everyone experiences culture shock in different ways, at different times and to different degrees. Usually the cultural adjustment process follows a certain pattern. At first, you will be excited about going to starting a new adventure. When you first arrive, everything will appear new and exciting. However, after some time, you may start to feel homesick and question why the Swiss (or Italians or French) do things differently than we do. You may even become irritated with these differences. However, you will eventually get used to this new way of life. And before you know it, you will be getting excited about the return home to your family and friends.
People from different cultures have different values (ценности). You may find your own values questioned, just as you are questioning those of the Swiss (or Italians, Germans, French, Hungarians, etc.). For example, a visitor from India to the US observed: "Americans seem to be in a perpetual hurry. Just watch the way they walk down the street. They never allow themselves the leisure to enjoy life; there are too many things to do."
Sometimes our values and beliefs will conflict and sometimes they will converge with the cultures we visit. The better you are able to adjust to the differences, the greater the ability you will have in empathizing and communicating with those with whom you come in contact. The result will be a better understanding of your own values and the values of the people you will encounter (встречать).