What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
Did you receive any cross-cultural training for your move abroad? If yes, was it before or after the move?
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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?
Yes, I speak the language now, good enough to be communicate.
I learned the language while here.
Were you worried or concerned about culture shock before you moved abroad?
No, because I had moved from Belgium to the US 30 years ago with no problems. I was quite a bit younger then. I had absolutely no problems getting integrated with the American culture.
How significant was the culture shock you experienced when you moved abroad?
I am still in it, 2 years after the move. I feel I have to give up my own identity to be able to fit in.
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?
I am still in the irritation-to-anger stage. I feel I have to give up my own identity and personal creativity and freedom to be able to fit in
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 am still angry and depressed. I have also gained 20 lbs.
What are some things you appreciate most about the new culture?
I moved here to be with my Norwegian husband. I cannot say I appreciate much about Norway.
What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?
Do you have any advice or thoughts about culture shock you would like to share?
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Life in Stavanger can be complicated for expats. By most accounts, it is a difficult culture to get accustomed to, but with the right frame of mind and a willingness to adapt, it can be a rewarding expat experience.