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Expat Advice: Culture Shock in North Tipperary, Ireland

Nov 05, 2016
Submitted by dsdlprice8

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Tipperary, Ireland

An expat in North Tipperary talks about how she is adapting to expat life in Ireland. She appreciates the friendly shopkeepers, but has found that becoming part of the a small town community is a slow process.

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

North Tipperary

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

No, other than extensive reading.

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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?

N/A

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

A little.

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

Not too bad, Somethings were comfortably the same as at home - but there was some big surprises.

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?

We've been here six months, so I think we are still in the honeymoon period. Only frustration was that they are changing the residency rules after we got here and bought a house, etc.

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.

I've become more outgoing to try to make new connections here. We do eat a lot more meat here because of the low prices and just the quality.

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

The history and the beautiful scenery. The Dingle Peninsula made me cry from the absolute beauty of it. Store staff are always willing to chat, ask you where you're from, and try to find connections.

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

Difficult in a small town to become a part of the community. Had planned to volunteer in the schools, but they don't do that here. But we're making baby steps. Buying anything is a nightmare. I was so used to shopping online. Not really possibly here. Products are so different

Did you "commit" any embarrassing or humorous cultural blunders? If you did and you'd like to share them, please do tell!

Mispronouncing everything from Laois to Cloughjordan! It's Leash and Clockjordan!

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

It's part of the experience - anticipate things are going to be different. And every day you adapt more and it gets a little easier - with surprises popping up every now and then just to keep things interesting!

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