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Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Amman, Jordan

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

Amman

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

No.

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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 they speak Arabic. I was born and raised in the states but my mother and father are from Palestine. I grew up hearing the language and speak it but not to the extent of a native. The dialect is different as well sense they come from different part of the middle east.

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

Not really. I was so engulfed with my move and tying things up at home in the states that I didn't have time to think about it too much.

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

At first I went through the honey moon stage and just recently started to feel home sick or "culture shock".

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?

As I said above I know I went through the honey moon stage. I was excited and fascinated to see a new country and culture. But when reality started to settle in and I started to think that I will be here for a while I started to compare my lifestyle. For example the ease with which I came and went, the clean streets and freedom to be just me and not worry about what I am wearing or or how I show emotion towards my husband in public. I find myself missing my home and neighborhood which the don't have here and if they do I haven't seen any, only high rise apartments.......

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 started to get more emotional. I am afraid that my sons that are coming in late June will not be happy. This is one of my highways fears. I know myself and bounce in and out of a depression mode which I pray will weaknen. I am definately homesick.

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

Not sure yet.

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

Learning to drive here and remembering and learning where places are. Meeting other Americans or other people for that matter.

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

Not yet.

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

Research, research, research! Try to join groups that are expats like you and establish contacts if you can. Good Luck.

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