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How to Deal with Culture Shock


Moving house may seem hard and stressful, but there is still a step above that which makes the move even harder and more difficult to cope with. When moving abroad sometimes it may seem like going through the looking glass with a big removal van, and you end up in a place you know nothing about, surrounded by these unknown people you once called foreigners, but now know as natives, doing their daily routines which you are unfamiliar with, along with habits and other aspects of the culture. But you did decide on a relocation to here, so now it is your job to explore this wondrous land and see where you fit in. And how do you go on about doing so? Well…

• Go out often
Get out the rabbit hole as much as you can. Sitting inside and looking through the window will reveal nothing to you, except for your neighbours’ going out schedule. You need to acquaint yourself with the region and the people, and the way to do that is to be about them.

You do not even have to interact – at least not at first. Take frequent walks to get to know the city or town, and at the very least you will find a few venues where you can go to dine or drink.

• Be open minded
Sometimes new cultures can be very absurd for you at first, but do not be so fast to pass judgments. There is a reason for every aspect of the behaviour of the people of every culture, and you cannot be judgmental unless you know that reason. Explore the culture, figure everything out, and decide if you want to be a part of it – if not, nobody will resent you. There are different ethnicities in every country and they have their own values and customs which nobody is trying to take away.

• Learn the language
If you are planning on staying in this new country, you should pick up a word or two, and while you are at it, why not learn the whole language? This will give you another window to view the culture from and will help you understand it better, so you will feel more at home.

Linguistics can tell a person a lot about a country and its people, so make an effort.

• Mingle
At some point you will have to start talking to people. If you went through all the looking for moving companies and hiring man and a van and packing and loading, and you simply went to a new country to stay home or go to work and keep it to yourself, then better get in touch with the removal company again and go back home. If you want to explore a culture, you need to meet its people. Make a friend, even, and you will have a personal informant about the country, the politics, the market, the geography, everything. Even if you want to avoid personal attachments to people, you can still be friendly to those around you and get acquainted with the environment.

• Be patient
Most important of all is to have a bit of patience. Getting used to a new culture takes a bit of time, you cannot simply change clothes and be ready for whatever this new land throws at you. And you should not click your heels and no-place-like-home off, but find motivation to explore the new setting, its people, and its customs.

Patience, motivation, communication, and open-mindedness will get you everywhere. And once you do get there, explore, explore, explore. See how vast the world really is and what it can offer you on a daily basis.


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