Regardless of how ready you might think you are when you move abroad, one way or the other, you will still get some form of expat culture shock. Anyone that has moved abroad has gone through the experience. It can be quite confusing, exhilarating and distressing when you move to a new country.
Because all that you have become accustomed to is no longer available, you will get culture shock when you have to acclimatize yourself to a new environment. Unless you move from an English speaking nation to another English speaking nation, you will probably be learning a new language and definitely a new culture. You can only deal with the shock if you are as ready as you can be, so that coping with the difficulties of a move abroad helps you to get adapted to your new home as fast as possible.
You will go through four phases of culture shock when you move to a new country. The first known as the honeymoon phase is the stage of excitement which can go on for a few weeks. After this you will become cognizant with the dissimilarities between the new culture and the one that you left behind.
You will observe the differences in culture and might become apprehensive, bewildered and detached. At the third stage, you will start getting accustomed to the new culture and will come to a comprehension of the mannerisms of the new culture and will begin building new relationships. In the course of time, you will get to the fourth stage where you will actively become a part of the new culture.
While culture shock can be quite a challenge to anyone, it is possible to deal with the situation and feel at home away from home. The following five tips will help any expert make the required adjustments.
Be ready before you actually move by learning as much as you can about the host country. Connect with people from the country online before you actually move to the new country and get to know more about them and about their culture and traditions. Learn the fundamentals of their language and anything that will help you ease yourself into the new environment.
Despite all your efforts to learn all you can about another country, you will still find some issues that will simply amaze you. By staying open to new ideas and new ways of doing things, you will be able to cope with any surprises and will quickly get adapted to your new way of life. Get outside and examine your new surroundings instead of staying indoors and becoming a confined or withdrawn. Explore the neighborhoods and engage yourself in activity that will help you ease yourself into the new environment.
Become active and find new things to do instead of staying idle. Take up some pleasurable pastime or amusements and get your mind of the fact that you are in a new surroundings. Instead, enjoy yourself and take time to discover new things to do. Stay connected to your roots and communicate with other Canadian expats. This will work well for you because while you get the support and encouragement of family and distant friends, you will also get the help that you need to settle in your new environment by making new friends. While expat culture shock can be quite distressing, it should not be if you know how to cope with it.
If you are considering relocating to a different country, we at Canuck abroad have everything you need to make your move hassle free. We maintain a list of Canadian embassies and consulates, Canadian expat groups as well as all kinds of other travel advice.