If you told your struggling young adult that you booked them a plane ticket to live in a third-world country, do you think they’d want to go? Probably not. The thought of leaving what they know to stay in a third-world country sounds scary, hard, and may seem pointless. In reality, it is the exact opposite! The benefits of Pure Life’s cultural immersion and adventure therapy will have them booking the plane ticket themselves and packing their bags with excitement.
Exposure to a novel environment in conjunction with a new culture can be extremely helpful in aiding young adults living at home to achieve their independence. This is due to the fact that many young adults go about their lives without taking the time to consider perspectives outside of their own. Therefore, when a young adult’s life is interrupted and they are placed in a new environment with new circumstances, they can start to build new ways of looking at and responding to the world around them.
What Is Cultural Immersion?
Cultural immersion is integrating oneself into an unfamiliar community. During cultural immersion, you also interact with local people and their daily activities to seek a better understanding of the way others live. Cultural immersion is usually experienced with a culture that is vastly different from the one you currently live in. A full immersion process involves living full time in the new community and culture while working with locals to engage in their activities, understand their life and needs while also actively participating.
The Benefits of Cultural Immersion
The benefits of cultural immersion are immeasurable. One of the most beneficial aspects of cultural immersion for young adults is providing them with an opportunity to see the struggles people in third-world countries deal with on a daily basis. Reading about the hardships in third-world countries is vastly different from living it and experiencing it yourself. For individuals who have the opportunity to engage in such a stark cultural difference, it can be a shock to realize that simple things, such as access to clean drinking water, are actually a luxury they take for granted. Exposing a young adult to different cultures and lifestyles can help them reassess their own life and priorities.
Many young adults who immerse themselves in a different culture are profoundly impacted by the loyalty, focus on family, and overall happiness that the members of the community have.
During this cultural immersion process, participants often explore and strengthen their core values in addition to gaining a deeper appreciation for simplicity.
In addition to seeing another culture and learning about experiences outside of their own, there is a great benefit to our mental health. Simply removing ourselves from our known environment can begin the healing process. Oftentimes our culture or everyday interactions affect our mental health and even cause some of our struggles and downfalls. As we consciously choose to leave our comfort zone and the rigors of our daily demands, we free up our mind and self from stressors we possibly weren’t even aware of. As we remove negativity from our lives, such as pressure from school, daily responsibilities, or job stress, it allows more room for healing and positive growth.
How Does Pure Life Use Cultural Immersion?
Pure Life takes advantage of the benefits of cultural immersion through the beauty and kindness in Costa Rica. Community outreach is invaluable to our students and important to our outdoor adventure therapy program.
Social expectations can be overwhelming for young adults. Some even lack the coping skills required to meet the expectations of daily life. In our cultural immersion program, we create a sense of community with our Costa Rican families. We help our students set aside the daily expectations they are used to, try new things, and allow them to see how other cultures cope and survive in their unique environment. By removing the student’s pressures, they have more capacity for learning and growth. The number of skills, peace, and education that will come during their cultural immersion experience will be unexpected, but fruitful for years far beyond their time in Costa Rica.
At Pure Life, our outdoor adventure therapy will give students the opportunity to stay in the home of a local Costa Rican family. During this stay, students will sleep on the floor of the home, along with their guides and the rest of the group. All our homestays are in clean and safe environments. A time with our beloved Costa Rican families is beneficial to both our students as well as the families. While we pay our Costa Rican families for boarding our group, we also expect our students to assist them with chores inside and outside of the home including harvesting and preparing food.
At Pure Life, our goal is to foster understanding, appreciation, and teach skills that will benefit our students throughout their life. Stepping outside of what they know and experience daily will provide a rich understanding of a vastly different culture that involves all aspects of family life. Most importantly, we want our students to evaluate their life. Seeing the drastic differences in their first-world life and the Costa Rican third-world culture will encourage students to assess their own life needs; what is truly a need versus a want. Students take time to reflect on the expression of values in relationships and daily life, explore and strengthen their core values, and gain a deeper appreciation for simplicity.
Download our free white paper below to learn more about how cultural immersion can benefit your child.
If your young adult could benefit from cultural immersion therapy with Pure Life Adventure, we want to hear from you. Reach out to Pure Life today and speak with our team.