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Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Algiers, Algeria

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

Algiers

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

No

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?

No, I do not fully speak the language but understand more than I can actually speak. I am now after living here for nearly a year learning French and Arabic.

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

No, as I had visited Algeria lots of times before deciding to move here, something I would suggest anyone to do before moving here.

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

Well, it was not too bad but the problem I have is some people just do not give you any respect - they don't know me so should not judge me by the way I look.

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, especially the irritation-to-anger stage, but honestly this did not last very long.

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.

Well, I was definitely homesick as I moved out here last June, but since moving here I go back to London on a regular basis to see my family - that is one thing that I miss the most. Not the same when you don't have your own family here. I know I have my husband's but it not quite the same.

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

Well after working for the British Government for 15 years being able to sit back and enjoy life now with my children is great. I can work if I want to but have decided to be a housewife instead - something that I would never have done while living in London.

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

Being accepted as I do not wear a head scarf.

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

No none sorry

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

Just give it respect as in time you will get used to it and enjoy your new life.

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Comments about this Report

guest
May 19, 2011 08:17

I am American and although did experience culture shock it was nothing negative. I too don't wear a head scarf but receive great respect and assistance with anything I try to do or anywhere I go. I am living in Blida and almost no foreign people live here. Algiers is different with different nationalities so they are more used to it there. Lots of women don't cover their heads that are Algerian so I don't understand what you are talking about the disrespect, even here in Blida where it is more conservative than Algiers.

sleham73
Feb 2, 2015 07:50

I strongly agree with you, i am moved back to Algiers after 15 years in London and to me nothing is shocking since i was a child people spoke french in all public services, women goes out without scarf, Alcohol was and still available and many more, i am not happy with all this things but still better than living in the western world

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Culture Shock in Algiers

A Dutch woman who moved to Algiers said that it took her awhile realise what it was exactly that made it so difficult for her to live in Algeria. She now knows that it's her sense of freedom which she seems to have lost.

Culture Shock in Algiers

When a woman from Malaysia married a man from Algeria, they needed to decide where to live. She considered living in Algeria, but ultimately convinced him to move to Malaysia. She shares her eye-opening experiences in the beautiful Berber Mountains and Algiers - where they continue to visit regularly!

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