National exam | Humanities Stream | Catch-up Session 2019

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The exam’s Comprehension Text

       [1] Leaving home to study or work in another country can be a difficult experience. Such an experience is often referred to as culture shock. This phenomenon describes the impact of moving from a familiar culture to one that is unfamiliar.

       [2] Karan Arora, an Indian student who recently landed in New York, tells his experience with American food. “I felt so sad when I first landed in the US and was served junk food everywhere. Everything here was tasteless. I really missed my homemade food,” he says.

       [3] Jean, an American student in Japan, also experienced culture shock. When asked about what might cause culture shock, she says: ” From what I’ve experienced personally, I think that the language barrier is often the biggest challenge. I was very frustrated even before I arrived in Tokyo. I felt very embarrassed when the Japanese lady next to me wanted to start a conversation but I couldn’t say even a single word. As soon as I settled myself in Tokyo, I started Japanese classes.”

       [4] Allison talks about a particular challenge he faced with the food and meals in Spain. “For those unfamiliar with Spanish cuisine, expect too much meat. Moreover, in England we usually have dinner at 6 p.m., but in Spain we ate at 10 p.m.,” says Allison. “It was also annoying for me to share lunch with many people. Sometimes, I just wanted to stay in my room and have a pizza alone, not the pizza they have in Spain,” adds Allison with frustration.

       [5] Yoko, a Japanese student in London, says that she found it extremely difficult to adjust to the British life. “In my first week in London, my train was canceled without notice, a normal thing for a Londoner. Poor and frustrating services extend to banks. In Japan, good service and organization are expected as a matter of course,” she explains. “To overcome culture shock people should read as much as possible ahead of time about the country where they will be staying”, she adds.

       [6] Although culture shock seems to be an unpleasant experience, it definitely opens your eyes not only to a different culture but also to your own. What we should bear in mind is that the customs and ways of life of the others aren’t wrong, they’re just different.

Adapted from different sources

National exam | Humanities Stream | Catch-up Session 2019 with Answers

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