Expat Advice: Culture Shock in
Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
Ho Chi Minh
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?
I have tried and tried to leard Vietnamese. But they have 6 tones and I can't hear the different tones let alone replicate them. I know quite a few nouns and not much else but I get around nicely thanks.
Were you worried or concerned about culture shock before you moved abroad?
How significant was the culture shock you experienced when you moved abroad?
None at all. Vietnam is as different to New Zealand as you can get and it has several cultural differences plus the climate is very different. I knew all this before I arrived and they are the reasons that I came here. I have a sales baqckground and we are risk takers and change agents by definition so that made it easier for me.
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?
What, if any, were some of the changes you noticed in yourself that might have been caused by culture shock? These might include things such as anger, depression, anxiety, increased eating or drinking, frustration, homesickness, etc.
What are some things you appreciate most about the new culture?
I love this place. The people are just wonderful, teh food is amazing, everything is super cheap, there is a dynamism about the place and it is great to be a part of a country that is growing rapidly.
What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?
The expats! They are mostly a miserable bunch of moaners. I woudl love to see how they answer the above questions.
Did you "commit" any embarrassing or humorous cultural blunders? If you did and you'd like to share them, please do tell!
None that are newsworthy and they are so forgiving when I do one.
Do you have any advice or thoughts about culture shock you would like to share?
Come here with an open mind, do your research and ALWAYS remember that you are a guest in their country and behave as such.
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