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Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Frenaros, Cyprus

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What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Frenaros

Did you receive any cross-cultural training for your move abroad? If yes, was it before or after the move?

No

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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?

Greek is spoken in Cyprus, but due to the fact that Cyprus was a British Protectorate for a long time, there are British military bases in Cypriot, and many Cypriots emigrated to British commonwealth countries, English is widely spoken. However, I do plan to learn to speak Greek. I feel it is common courtesy to learn the language of the country you have moved to.

Were you worried or concerned about culture shock before you moved abroad?

No. I have lived in several other countries prior to this move to Cyprus and never really experienced culture shock. I have, however, experienced what I would call "culture annoyance" in some countries, particularly when dealinig with corrupt governments and citizens who are mainly not law-abiding.

How significant was the culture shock you experienced when you moved abroad?

It has been very easy to acclimate to moving to Cyprus. There have been a few challenges in sorting out things with government agencies, but all in all, I can't complain.

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?

Maybe I am in the honeymoon phase and will stay in that phase my entire life. I love living in Cyprus and wished that I had moved there sooner.

What are some things you appreciate most about the new culture?

The friendliness and generosity of the people. The culture is very family-oriented and as such, it is a very safe and joyful place to live. The pace of life is more relaxed. As the Greeks say, siga siga (slowly slowly).

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

There are many Cypriots who are not animal lovers and because there is a lareg population of homeless dogs and cats on the island, sometime you see animal cruelty. This saddens me.

Do you have any advice or thoughts about culture shock you would like to share?

Personally, Cyprus has been very easy to move to. I have not experienced any culture shock. My advice would be to learn the language and meet your neighbors.

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