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Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Taipei, Taiwan

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?

Yes, before I moved.

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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?

I only speak a little Mandarin and I currently plan to continue my studies in the language.

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

Not very worried about culture shock.

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

Not extremely significant although I will say that the men here seem to think that any expat woman traveling alone wants their attention. I ended up wearing a fake engagement ring to help ward them away.

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 don't that there is a huge transition between American and Taiwanese culture when it comes to day to day life. There's the normal homesickness and getting settled, but not too much else is very different.

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.

decreased eating and homesickness

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

Everyone here is extremely friendly and helpful

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

There is quite a language barrier if you don't speak any Mandarin.

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

Give yourself time to adjust. Find the local expat hangouts and try to network so that your not too much on your own.

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