Home Costa Rica Forum Costa Rica Guide Costa Rica Resources Costa Rica Real Estate International Jobs

Costa Rica


City Guides

CIGNA Expat Health Insurance
Join Sign In
ExpatCPA Handles US Tax Returns for Americans Living Overseas

Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Atenas, Costa Rica

Comments Print

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?


Moving to Costa Rica soon?

Choosing an expat health insurance provider is an important decision. Take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA. Sponsored by CIGNA.

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?

No Yes

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


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

1 to 10 (10 = unbearable) 4

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?

Yes. Honeymoon phase is over after one year and I'm working on skipping directly to acceptance. We'll see.

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.

Anxiety and sleeplessness as daily stresses eg: banking and shopping were much more difficult because of language barrier.

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

Importance of family and living a simple life.

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

Lack of planning and foresight.

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

Don't ask "why." Work on remaining positive. Don't compare your new country to the old country.

Read Next

Retirement-In-San-JoseAn Expat Shares What it's Like Retiring in San Jose, Costa Rica

A U.S. expat retiree in San Juan, Costa Rica offers comprehensive advice on retiring and living there. Housing, crime, health care and more are covered.

Moving-To-San-Marcos,-TarrazúAn Expat Talks about Moving to San Marcos, Tarrazú, Costa Rica

It's a good idea to rent before you buy in San Marcos, Costa Rica. Meet your neighbors, get advice on where to live and if they know of any homes for sale. And, bring any electronics you'll need, because the cost is double in Costa Rica.

Write a Comment about this Expat Report

Sign In to post a comment.

Comments about this Report

Jul 20, 2012 17:06

Lived in Atenas for 16 months. It is expensive. very small and very clicky. Bus system is good! Banking in Costa Rica is the worse BCR sucks!!!!!!!! Costa Rica is not cheap place to live. and San Jose is one big getto!! NEVER start a business there the red tape is unbelievable. Nobody knows nothing and nobdy does anything!!!! They claim there ECO friendly what BS!! Visit for a few weeks! And then go home!!!!!

Join Today (free)

Join Expat Exchange to meet expats in your area or get advice before your move. It's FREE and takes 1 minute!

Costa Rica Guide

Other Links

Our Story Our Team Contact Us Submit an Article Advertising Travel Warnings

Copyright 1997-2018 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal