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Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Vientiane, Laos

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

Vientiane

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

None at all

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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?

Definitely helps to speak a few words of Lao. I want to become fluent

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

A little

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

Not as bad as i expected

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, this breakdown is definitely an accurate one

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.

Frustration at not speaking and understanding

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

Peaceful

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

Laos time. The unreliability of tradesmen for example

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

Hang in there. It gets better. Also don't hang out too much with the expat crowd. Mix with the locals - it is appreciated.

Talk with Expats in Laos

If you're not involved in our Laos Forum, it's a great place to meet others in your area, get answers to questions about moving to Laos or offer advice to a newcomer.

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