How to deal with culture shock when moving abroad

How to deal with culture shock when moving abroad

When you first move abroad, you might forget that besides being a grand adventure for you and your family, this is the area that will become your home for a time, or for a lifetime. Because of this, you will need to adjust to the way that things are and how these ways differ from what you are accustomed to. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your sense of home.

One of the ways that you can lessen the overall shock of the culture is to learn as much as you can beforehand. But this means that you need to do more than read books or learn a new language; you will want to immerse yourself in the new culture in some way. Look for local groups of expatriates from that country or others that have done what you are hoping to do. The point is to get that ‘inside’ look into the culture that you want to become a part of. And that means taking the time to learn.

Another good way to start to accustom yourself to the culture is to slowly begin to dip your toes in the local goings on. Try out new foods and attend different local meetings to observe how people interact with each other. You’ll never learn about your new home if you never leave your new home. Meet your neighbours and try to learn about them. Take walks around your home and work place to see what you can observe.

But most of all have a sense of adventure and open mindedness. Look at moving as an opportunity to see the world in a way that few other people day – from completely innocent eyes. One of the ways to do this is to allow your self to slowly immerse yourself in new things. Look at what drives your local community and how you might be able to become involved. If you’re not a religious person, but you find that religion is quite important, try to find a way to volunteer for the community to show your willingness to try.

You don’t have to give up who you are or what you believe in when you move to a new country, but trying to become familiar with the ways of the land can help you feel more at home than you ever thought possible, so far away from what was comfortable.