Overcoming Culture Shock - Adjusting to a New Country

Moving to a new country can be exciting. In the beginning stage of the move, everything is new. There are new places to see, new foods to try, and new things to do. However, there are other stages of living in a new country that are not so pleasant. The purpose of this blog post is to help prepare you for your move. It might also help you if you have already moved and are experiencing sadness from being away from home.

If you know that there are different phases of culture shock, this might help you know that this feeling is normal. After a time, things will get better.

1. Excitement - You have moved because of new work opportunities or for a better life. There are a lot of reasons why people move. When you first arrive, you may be so busy unpacking and getting your new home or apartment set up, that you are too busy to think about anything else. You want to learn about this new place that you will be calling "home" for a while.

2. Frustration - You may be using a new language and simple tasks such as going to the store or going out to eat provide new challenges. You might understand parts of conversations at work, but you don't have enough language skills to be able to add anything to the conversation quickly. Then you realize every day is going to be like this for a while. You might wonder why you ever moved to begin with. You might feel that you should have stayed in your home country. You might start to feel some sadness and even deep sadness for a long time (depression).

3. Adjustment - You start to have a routine of things you do every day or every week to keep you busy. You start to see familiar faces and maybe even make a few new friends. Your navigation of places to go and your routines become easier. You don't compare your home country to your new country as often. If you work, you start understanding more vocabulary and start learning common expressions and short sentences that are used often.

4. Acceptance - Even though there is no place like home, you feel comfortable in your new country. You may not understand why people do what they do in this new place, but you accept that this is what locals do. If it's time to go back home, you might even feel sad about leaving because you now actually like your current home and have made some friends.

Tips for overcoming culture shock:

1. If you live in the United States where there isn't much public transportation, get a driver's license. This will enable you to find new places to go and more things to do in your free time.

2. Take English classes. Learn everyday English sentences or take a business English class. This will help make your everyday life easier. This is also a good way to get to know other people who are new to the United States.

3. Be patient. Learning a new language is a lot of work. You may not learn as fast as you want to, but don't quit.

4. Try to find things to do every day or every week that you can look forward to.

5. Get plenty of sleep. Everyone feels better when they have enough rest. It is easier to have a good attitude anywhere in the world if you get at least seven hours of sleep.

6. Eat healthy food. If you get sick, being away from home will be more difficult. Try to stay healthy to avoid getting sick.

7. Talk with friends and family using e-mail, Skype, Line, or WhatsApp. These days, it is much easier to stay in contact with people you know than ever before.

New ESL Classes

Here is an introduction to some of our new classes that are available at our Indianapolis office.

Beginner/Basic Communication:
This class is for students that already have very basic communication skills. If you can speak in a simple way about routines and already know some frequently used expressions, this course will be beneficial. The focus will be on perfecting grammar and increasing vocabulary.  (CEFRL A1-A2)

This class is for students who would like to practice conversation and improve their grammar. We will learn to speak about a variety of topics using various verb tenses in past, present and future. Some topics include hobbies, goals and plans for life. (CEFRL B1-B2)

Casual Conversation (MeetUp Style group):
This group is to give non-native English speakers an understanding of daily conversation, which can include anything from get-to-know you conversations, cultural differences, or current events. There will be a range of abilities in order for students to be able to hear and learn from others. Topics will be provided for discussion, but ultimately it is up to the students to determine where their interests lie and what they want to discuss. (Intermediate to Advanced, CEFRL B1-C1)


9:00 AM-10:00 AM - Beginner

10:00 AM-11:00 AM - Beginner

11:00 AM-12:00 PM - Intermediate

1:00-2:00 PM - Intermediate

2:15-3:15 PM - Casual Conversation

3:30-4:30 PM -Casual Conversation

5:00-6:00 PM - Beginner

6:15-7:15 PM - Intermediate


3:30 - 4:30 PM Beginner

5:00 - 6:00 PM Beginner

6:00 - 7:00 PM Intermediate

7:00 - 8:00 PM Conversation


3:30 - 4:30 PM Intermediate

5:00 - 6:00 PM Intermediate

6:00 - 7:00 PM Conversation

7:00 - 8:00 PM Intermediate


9:00 AM-10:00 AM - Beginner

10:00 AM-11:00 AM - Beginner

11:00 AM-12:00 PM - Intermediate

1:00-2:00 PM - Intermediate

2:15-3:15 PM - Casual Conversation

3:30-4:30 PM -Casual Conversation

5:00-6:00 PM - Beginner

6:15-7:15 PM - Intermediate

Interpreter Training Workshop - Interpreting in Palliative Care

Interpreter Training Workshops

We are offering an interpreter training workshop in Palliative Care on Saturday, May 12, 2018 from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The location may change, depending on the number of students. The deadline to enroll is April 23, 2018.

Interpreting in Palliative Care


This is a workshop for interpreters in health care. Help improve your understanding of content and vocabulary you may encounter in palliative care, as it is a rapidly expanding area of medicine

There are three areas in which you may grow:

  • help optimize the quality of life for patients with serious illness

  • expand your knowledge

  • improve both your interpreting skills and your comfort level with palliative care settings


Training will be given by Liz Essary.

Thank you.

Cost: $99

735 Shelby St.

Indianapolis, IN 46203

May 12 from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Letter to Newcomers from a Current Student

One of our students, Akiko, will be be returning to Japan very soon. After teaching a class about phrases used to offer advice and suggestions, I asked the students to write to a letter to people who would be moving to the United States. This gave an opportunity for Akiko to use her English skills while leaving a legacy here for newcomers who might look for advice about things to do while living in Indiana. Here is her revised letter.

Dear New Friend,

My name is Akiko and I’m from Japan. I’ve been in Columbus, [Indiana] for three years. I would recommend going to watch sports such as baseball, basketball, and football. There are many professional sports teams in the U.S.A. Live games are exciting.

My favorite game is basketball. Any team is fine, but I like the Indiana Pacers. You should check the Pacers home page [so] that you can get information about where you can watch the games, get tickets, and ticket prices.

You should take an English class or workshop. Don’t stay in your house alone. I would recommend Midwest Language Services.

Best regards,

Akiko S.

Job Opportunity for Deaf Community and Others

Arrow Container, a rapidly expanding, family owned, corrugated manufacturer, is seeking Light Assembly Team Members at their Eastside Indianapolis warehouse location to assist with driving their processes and production capabilities forward. Positions will begin as temporary with possibility of coming on company payroll (including pay increase and benefits) based on performance.  Starting wage for the position is $10.00/hr.

Responsibilities for this position include:

  • Assemble corrugated products to customer specifications utilizing glue and hand tools as required according to the specific project
  • Set up jobs properly to achieve the quickest and most efficient assemblies
  • Keep work area clean and safe according to 5S quality standards

Necessary Skills & Abilities:

  • Ability to make a strong individual contribution while functioning as part of a team
  • Must excel in a fast paced ever changing environment
  • Strong organizational and time management skills
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Must be able to lift up to 25 pounds frequently and 50 pounds occasionally
  • Stand for an entire 8-10-hour shift
  • Frequent bending and twisting
  • Dexterity Skills

There is someone on staff who is an American Sign Language / ASL interpreter.

CONTACT KARA FOR DETAILS. (See her contact info below.)

Please do not contact Midwest Language Services regarding this job opportunity. We are sharing this for Arrow Container.

Thank you.

Kara Schnaus, HR Generalist,

Arrow Container


317-882-6444 ext.2441

We Have Updated Our Website

Now you can schedule an appointment or even register for a class using our site. If you have questions about anything or have found any glitches that have been missed, please let us know immediately, so that we can fix it!

We currently have a limited number of private lessons and group classes available, but this is about to change very soon, as we have just hired a new English Language Instructor.

Kyla Decker lived in Ecuador for nine years and has taught both English as a Second Language and Visual Arts there. She is fluent in English and Spanish. Visit our site regularly to find and register for our upcoming classes.

Testimonial from Pablo Da Rosa

Thank you to Jeff Burnham for your excellent work for Midwest Language Services, LLC!

“I was very happy with the service provided by Midwest Language Services. They are very flexible and able to offer different types and meeting times for classes, including teaching at my home, which was very convenient. My instructor was very experienced at teaching. I took the Accent Modification Training and I learned lots of techniques and exercises to help me improve in this area in addition to some grammatical explanations.”

Welcome Marie Mori, Our Intern from Japan

Marie Mori will be teaching Essential Japanese for Travel this summer at Midwest Language Services in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Marie Mori is currently teaching Elementary Japanese and pursuing a Master’s in Linguistics and TESL at Indiana State University. She is interested in the relationship between second language learning and anxiety, as well as foreign language learning and psychology.

At ISU, Ms. Mori has been dedicating herself to establishing a Japanese cultural organization that will introduce Japan and its culture through many events. She hopes it will open doors to the Japanese way of life, traditions, gastronomy and history to anyone who is interested.
Marie’s future goals are to be an English teacher in Japan and to foster students with global perspectives. English will be one tool for teaching students about things outside of Japan. With respect to her future objectives, she plans to incorporate all of her experience in the United States into changing how Japanese students learn.

In 2017, Marie participated in the WUSTL-ALLEX Japanese Teacher Training for seven weeks at Washington University in      St. Louis and learned the performed culture approach to teaching. “This summer, I will teach Japanese using the performed culture approach. Learners will be exposed to Japanese culture and performing in the target language. I will be using Japanese most of the time in class,” Marie says.

Marie earned a Bachelor’s Degree in English literature at Doshisha Women’s College in Kyoto, Japan. She was interested in applied linguistics, second language learning, and effective ways of teaching English as a foreign language in Japan, with both physical and emotional aspects. Marie adds, “To expand my knowledge and ability, I decided to come to the United States to study."

To register, please visit this link to Eventbrite. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/essential-japanese-for-travel-registration-44335912909