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Expat Advice: Culture Shock in San Jose, Costa Rica

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

San Jose

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

Yes, twenty years of business and social experience throughout Latin America

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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, I learned Spanish twenty years before my move.

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

No, I was not worried because of extensive Latin American exposure.

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

Considerable

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, definitely and I am now in the permanent rejection phase.

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.

Certainly anxiety, frustration and considerable anger.

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

A certain sense of freedom born out of being surrounded by disorder and a complete lack of caring about most things.

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

Duplicity, lack of frankness, uncaring attitude, failure to confront any issue and passing off all problems as "God's will".

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

I don't think so.

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

In comparison to the rest of Latin America, this country has very little that it can claim to be culture.

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