By Ariel A.
Grade 11, Virginia
Country of Origin: El Salvador

We have four stages of culture shock: the Honeymoon stage, the Crisis stage, the Adjustment stage, and the Acceptance stage. I was in the crisis stage two months after I came to the United States. I was in a bad mood. I could not speak to anybody because I could not speak English. I could not adapt to the American school system because is so different than my country.
When I started going to school, the first day almost everybody looked at me because they knew that I just came from my country and I felt so sad. That day I just wanted to go home. Then I went to lunch and I did not know how to get my food, but someone told me how to get my food. The thing was that any food I didn’t like it. When I saw all the food I was like, “what is that? That food looks disgusting.” So the food shocked me and I took so long to adapt to eat that kind of food. Pizza was the food that I didn’t like.
Later I thought that if the Americans go to my country they will think the same thing about my country’s food. We eat with tortillas. Finally I started to understand American culture. I am now in the Acceptance Stage because finally I accept and enjoy a new culture. Now I can enjoy some U.S culture, but now I like the food better than before.

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