Expats the world over have, in one way or another, learned to adjust to life in a new country. Obviously, there are those that do not do this successfully, and end up unhappy in their new life or else they return to their home country (or some other one!). Here is a report from a Kiwi expat in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam who has adapted well, and maybe is short on patience with those who have not:
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.” 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.
That’s the interesting part, right at the end there. You know… the “miserable bunch of moaners” bit. Should we expect every person to adapt as we do? Like the author, I too wonder about how other expats in Vietnam would answer the Expat Culture Shock report, or comment on this expat report on Vietnam.