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Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Hamburg, Germany

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

Hamburg

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 began studying German when I arrived here

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

No

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

Business wise, highly significant. I simply took for granted that behaviour that were so to say standard in Italy would have been also kind of automatic here. Big mistake, Germans are not Italians. As pertains to the private life, not significant at all.

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?

Business wise only: yes, definitely, all of them.

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.

Depression, frustration.

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

Efficiency, respect of rules, long term thinking.

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

Rigid social fences, lack of ambition among working class, rigid respect of rules that drives to lack of proactivity and creative thinking

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

Be aware that things are not as they used to be before. They will perhaps be even better but they won't be the same. Forgot the past and get ready to start learning as if you were a child.

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Comments about this Report

guest
Apr 24, 2011 22:03

I agreed with everything you said, except "long term thinking." I found the Germans to be short-sighted and narrow minded.

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