Expat Advice: Culture Shock in
What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
Did you receive any cross-cultural training for your move abroad? If yes, was it before or after the move?
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If they speak another language in your new country, do you speak the language? If yes, did you learn the language before you moved or while abroad? If no, are you planning to learn the language?
Yes, I studied Spanish in college, many years ago, and used a computer program for a refresher before moving here.
Were you worried or concerned about culture shock before you moved abroad?
How significant was the culture shock you experienced when you moved abroad?
Much less than I worried about.
Expats often talk about going through the "stages of culture shock." Examples include the honeymoon phase, the irritation-to-anger stage, the rejection of the culture stage, and the cultural adjustment phase. Do you feel like you went through these or any other stages as you settled into the new culture?
I visited Ecuador more than a dozen times over a 6-year period before moving here, so I'm not sure I think of myself as in a stage or having gone through a stage. If I had moved here with less in-country experience, it might have been very different.
What are some things you appreciate most about the new culture?
More relaxed generally, people are very friendly and helpful. More tranquil way of life. Fresher food.
What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?
Parties start early and go on all day long. People feel free to just drop by to say hello - nice idea, but very different from what I'm used to, so it still throws me a bit. Anything to do with government or banking is mired in red tape and moves slowly. Banks are particularly frustrating because they act as if they really don't care if they have your business or not.
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