Culture shock when moving abroad
When moving abroad you will encounter culture shock in one form or another. You can easily overcome this and learn to positively embrace it. To do so, you need to read the advice on this page.
Tips to overcome culture shock
1: Don’t Complain about What a Place Lacks
If something is different than what you are used to in your home country, and you don’t like it, there’s nothing you can do about it. Therefore, complaining about it will not do anything but annoy those around you and will actually negatively impact on your overall time abroad.
To overcome the culture shock of moving abroad and finding your home comforts are missing, tell yourself there’s nothing you can do and try to embrace these new differences.
2: Don’t Complain About the Weather Abroad
No matter where you go in the world, the weather will probably be different from where you live. It’s a fact of life so get on with it. If you are lucky enough to be from the UK then most other countries have better weather than you – in which case, celebrate it and occasionally brag to your friends back at home about the 30 degree weather in December!
3: Embrace the New Timetable Abroad
Different countries have varying timetables, and this is a key cause of culture shock. People eat, drink, sleep, and work at different times depending on where you are in the world. You must embrace this and force yourself to adjust to it as soon as possible. If you stay, for example, in an English eating pattern of having dinner at 7pm whilst you’re in Spain and everyone is eating at 11pm, then you’ll feel uncomfortable. You have to integrate yourself with these new differences. Through this, culture shock will disappear.
4: Don’t Panic & Be Patient Whilst Abroad
At first, little things such as not being able to find the local supermarket or getting lost on your way to work will scare you. These are the things you take for granted at home but now seem like impossible challenges. If you panic, then your culture shock will grow bigger and bigger, and you will start to dislike the new place in which you live. You must remain calm and start to integrate yourself with your new surroundings.
Extra Tip: Reverse Culture Shock
If you ever return to your native country after living and working abroad for a prolonged period, you may suffer what is known as reverse culture shock. Reverse culture shock is the negative, unsettling feeling you get upon returning home. You might think that everything is not so great and you preferred life abroad. It will take time to readjust back, but soon you will once more learn to love the native country you grew up in.
Learn more about cultures in specific countries in our designated section.
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