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Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Mogilev-Podilskyi, Ukraine

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Mogilev, Ukraine

An American living in Mogilev-Podilskyi, Ukraine appreciates the friendly Ukranians and how they hang out with one another. One of the biggest shocks he has experienced is how the US government treats him as an expat.

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

Mogilev-Podilskyi

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

Kind of. Family living overseas, father pastor, often missionaries stayed at our house. As child, traveled some.

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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 bought computer CDs to teach me Russian. So I speak a little, but often others LOVE to try their limited English. American music plays everywhere, American flag shirts, and of course, Beatles (UK).

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

Not even. Biggest shock is what the anti-American US federal govt has done to try to force me to return to their 'plantation'. I have no money and can't cash my checks now due to them. In essence, they are robbing me.

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

n/a

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

Very friendly, always hanging out together.

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

A LOT of deception and scams, trying to separate me from the money I no longer have.

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

They try to make you feel responsible for being their victims, and offer to 'help' in a way that is meaningless and useless, but you are in their debt. Don't fall for it. When in Rome, dress like a Roman, act like a Roman, and not an American. Biggest compliment I get is when a stranger approaches me and starts rattling off in Ukrainian or Russian, assuming I am one of them. I bought a laptop, and the internet is wonderful. You can watch any tv or movies you want, play games in English. I also brought some Smallville and JWayne movies that I often watch. People here usually carry cellphones, and WiFi is everywhere. Many many satellite dishes for homes. Many Mercedes, BMWs, lots of Jap cars, and a few Ford or Chevy. Stray dogs everywhere.

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