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Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Kristiansand, Norway

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?

Finding friends.

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

Not yet.

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Comments about this Report

Nov 9, 2011 15:45

It`s sad you can`t fit in and feel you are welcome in my country. I know many people have a problem to feel they are welcome here, specially in the beginning. Many Noregian think at least those from abroad should learn the language. And they don`t know that Norwegian is a very difficult language to learn for many nations. But also many people coming from another country are not open minded to learn our culture. And that is a part of moving to another country and should be exiting and interesting. I hope you will enjoy your Norwegian life better after a while. Try think about what is better here than in Belgium.. something is better :-) And try take action to speak with people, most of us will welcome you when they get to know you. I know you are struggling, but don´t give up. We can seem a bit locked, but many of us like people from foreign countries and think its interesting :-) Maybe you ahve met wrong persons? :-)

Jul 4, 2016 21:59

Hi, sound like your not having a great time. Well I'm a 45 year old female born in Norway but left at 22. I'm now moving back to Kristiansand mainly to give my son a better childhood ect. But I'm absolutely dreading it, I feel more Scottish than Norwegian, I dont like the language and I do think people are rude and I should know cause I am Norwegian. Anyway I'm moving in 4 weeks and I would love to meet lots of English speaking people. So get in touch if you want.

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