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Surviving Culture Shock: 8 Tips to Help You Adapt 

 July 21, 2023

Culture shock is a common experience that many people go through when relocating to a new country. It can be challenging to adjust at first, but it’s important to remember that it’s an incredibly rewarding experience.

 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, know that it won’t last forever. There are plenty of strategies that you can follow to help settle into your new home.

 

Interested in learning more? Below we are going to discuss some tips to help you adapt and survive culture shock.

 

Let’s begin!

 

Plan ahead.

 

The best thing you can do to reduce culture shock is to plan your move ahead of time. There is a lot involved with the process, and the more prepared you are, the easier it will be.

 

Organize your finances, look further into travel insurance comparison, research expenses, and find a job in advance. Not only will it make the transition smoother, but you can focus on actually exploring your new home once you arrive.

 

Research and understand the culture.

 

Before leaving for your new home, it’s wise to learn about the customs, traditions, and beliefs of the people. Join online forums, watch films, and read books to get a sense of its culture.

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Knowing the do’s and don’ts will help you feel more comfortable and can protect your reputation. It will also give you an idea of what to expect so that it doesn’t seem entirely shocking.

 

Learn the language.

 

Language is a key factor when it comes to experiencing a new culture. You’re going to feel like an outsider if you can’t communicate with any of the locals so try your best to learn a few basic phrases and common expressions.

 

Invest in a language course or practice with a language exchange partner to improve your skills. You’ll be able to interact, make new friends and complete your day-to-day tasks with ease (even if you’re not an expert).

 

Keep an open mind.

 

While it’s easy to shut yourself off after your move, aim to keep an open mind and be willing to experience new things. While it might seem scary at first, it can help you adjust much more quickly.

 

You could try exploring new food, attend a cultural festival or simply have a conversation with locals at your grocery store. Without experimenting you will never truly feel at home no matter how long you have lived there.

 

Connect with other expats.

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Connecting with other expats can be a great way to integrate yourself into a different culture. This is because they have been through a similar experience and can provide valuable insights and tips on how to get through the process.

 

There are plenty of expat groups online that you can use to get started. Just practice safety precautions especially if you are meeting up with an individual for the first time. If you would rather meet with a group, keep an eye out for local clubs in your area.

 

Practice self-care.

 

As you may already be aware, being away from your home can be emotionally and physically draining. You must take time to care for yourself during this period.

 

You can try relaxation techniques, meditation, and exercise to manage your stress levels. It’s also a good idea to follow your usual routine and maintain a healthy work-life balance. This will give you a sense of normality and will alleviate some of the anxiety.

 

While it will be uncomfortable, try and see this as an opportunity for personal growth and development. Embrace the challenges and learn each step of the way.

 

Be respectful.

 

One of the things you want to avoid when moving abroad is criticizing or judging the culture. Just because it is not what you are used to, doesn’t mean that it’s wrong.

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Instead of sharing personal thoughts on people, customs, and beliefs, make an effort to understand their way of life. This will help you build more positive relationships and you’ll learn to see the world in a different light.

 

Stay connected with family and friends.

 

Lastly, while you may think it will make you miss home, always stay connected with your friends and family. Schedule regular video calls, messages and send emails as much as possible.

 

Sharing your feelings and experiences can be therapeutic and will help you feel less isolated. It’s also a good way to keep up social contact until you feel more confident making new friends.

 

Final words.

 

Culture shock is a natural part of moving abroad. While it can seem stressful and overwhelming, you can overcome it with the right mindset, preparation, and support. By following the tips above, you can enjoy and thrive through this new and exciting journey.

 

What do you think? Do you have any other tips you would recommend to others?

 

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