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Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Suva, Fiji

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?

I read and communicated with people on-line that live there once lived here.

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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?

There are several languages including English. I did not learn the additional languages.

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

No, I was assured that the people were extremely kind, considerate and faith based.

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

I am in total shock at the deceitful actions in business and the prejudice shown.

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 have been three months. I have been charged more money in rent because I am an expat, neighbors are in my mail and personal life without invitation, I made purchases from stores where prices were changed or I selected one thing and got it home to not work. Co-workers do not seem to be happy to have Americans working here. I am not impressed with things I thought I would be.

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 job did not make provisions as other countries and they charged extremely expensive fees for what they provided. I have had no enlightenment or protection from unknown factors that could be harmful. I am frustrated, feeling depressed and homesick which is unusal for me. I have worked as an expat for many years in different countries but this is the worst,

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

The need for improvement

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

Co-workers and subordinates' attitude. The food is causing me health issues.

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

I asked questions in regards to the job and it seems as if people do not like that but orientation did not provide answers.

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

Do not come to Fiji unless you are willing to be openly cheated, use to not having hot water, able to take bug bites and tolerate strange food.

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Comments about this Report

Aug 15, 2011 06:15

lol must be american

Mar 19, 2014 19:08

I have been to Fiji - Suva many times (8). I have found the Native Fijians to be very friendly and hospitable to us. However the Indian Fijians have been rather rude to us. Also charged higher prices as well. It is the Indians NOT the Fijians who have this attitude problem with Americans Expats. I have found all Fijians not to have this attitude. I don't even go into the Indian business' due to their attitude.

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8 Tips for Living in Fiji

Expats in Fiji talk about make the move to Fiji and what it's like living in Fiji. Topics range from the pet quarantine to the Coconut grapevine to culture shock.
Expats in Fiji talk about make the move to Fiji and what it's like living in Fiji. Topics range from the pet quarantine to the Coconut grapevine to culture shock. ...

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