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Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Santiago, Chile

Submitted by bronco

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?

While I received no cross training prior to moving, I had lived in several other counries for periods of time and had visited many others often for entended periods doing various film projects so I was able to adapt easily to the different cultures. Also by respecting the local people and customs, I was more comfortable with adapting

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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?


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

There is always a certain amount of concern and anxiety when relocating, but I had been prepared for the move having visited Cjile many time before deciding

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

There were minor adjustments that had to be made to deal with local customs , some very different to other areas. I think that you have to maintain some contacts with your primary country but limit that so as not to interfere with any changes you will have to make as the culture is not going to channge for you but you for it or you will have porblems and be very unhappy.

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?

Because of my experiences in the past I had very little adjustment to make.

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.

The frustration comes with the contact with certain people in the host country who resent to a degree the presence of foreigners , very little in Chile, but also the main thing is the form of doing business and also the lack f concern of some public officials

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

I think that the learning experince and meeting so many new and wonderful people

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

The main thing is you have to use extreme caution in certain areas and protect your home

Did you "commit" any embarrassing or humorous cultural blunders? If you did and you'd like to share them, please do tell!


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

I think that to avoid Culture shock a person should have an open mind and also try to learn as much about the culture as possible by either visiting the counry as well as studying on the internet as much as possible. Also if possible by meeting other people that either have lived or visited the host country. remember you are a guest in the host country and you must accept and seek out competant help with anything you don't understand

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