Home Mexico Forum Mexico Guide Moving to Mexico Real Estate Healthcare in Mexico
Mexico
Resources
City Guides
Cigna International Health Insurance
JoinSign In
Cigna International Health Insurance

Guadalajara >

Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Guadalajara, Mexico

Submitted by GoingtoGuad11

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

Guadalajara

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

Yes, I read up on Mexico and took Spanish starting 2 years before I moved here. I also worked with an "agency" to help me with the proper papers, what to bring, etc. They were more or less helpful, but I've learned most of the important stuff on my own.

Expats living in Mexico interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA. Get a Quote

Expats living in Mexico interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA.

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 can speak Spanish. I took classes before I left, and while I am here I'm taking private lessons. It opened things up for me in a much greater way. I didn't feel like I was in a box once I began to answer back when being spoken to.

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

Yes, I was concerned but I did a lot of reading up, I studied the language and I felt like I was up for it. But I got kind of homesick after a time. I'm still here though after a year. I have definitely gone through all the stages and some again and again. I haven't adapted as well as I would've hoped. But I'm sure I will. It's either that or go home.

Moving to Mexico

Moving to Mexico soon? AGS Worldwide Movers is a leader in the international moving industry. Their experience and expertise allows them to guarantee their clients the best quality moving services. Get a moving quote today.

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

Pretty major, after the honeymoon stage. I'm in Guadalajara, a big, loud, dirty city and I don't find it pleasant at all, but there are a lot of teaching opportunities here, so for now, I stay. But I have plans to move this year.

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 went through them all, and thought I was pretty open-minded. But I went through the irritation and rejection stages several times. I feel like I'm bucking the acceptance stage, but perhaps it's just that I need a change of scenery.

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 went through all of the above except my eating decreased - I have had a lot of anxiety and panic attacks (it's very noisy here, so that didn't help). It's just not the right city for me. I haven't drank more or done drugs, I do smoke but not much. The frustration has been incredible. Some of the things I have seen here are real head scratchers.

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

The language is fun to learn, the food is great, a lot of people I've met are really special and I've made some friends, although it hasn't been easy. They are a close-knit culture with their families and don't accept gringas very willingly, but I'm okay. There are astoundingly beautiful places that I could never see the like in the States.

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

Too many to name.

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

Sure, I tried out new words I thought I had learned and made a fool of myself, but I just laughed with everyone else and it was fine. Also, I fell twice in the street 'cause the streets are so broken and uneven and felt silly, but a nice lady helped me, very kind.

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

Try it out for a few months before you move here. It's not for everyone. It beats cold, Wisconsin winters, but the culture is both baffling, lovely, surprising and shocking. I can't believe I've made it here a year. I must be stronger than I thought. You can feel very alone and isolated, or you can feel surrounded by many. I guess it's a choice. I've done both. But take care and don't bring expensive things that you'd hate to see stolen. I have been very lucky (blessed) but many I know personally have gotten attacked or robbed. TAKE CARE and use common sense.

Read Next

Retirement-In-Lake-ChapalaAn Expat Shares What it's Like Retiring in Lake Chapala, Mexico

A retiree who has lived all over the world as a house sitter, talks about packing up and making the permanent move to Lake Chapala, Mexico. She had been there many times before and is thrilled she finally made the move - she appreciates the lower cost of living, expat community, close proximity to Guadalajara.

Retirement-In-Ajijic-and-ChapalaAn Expat Shares What it's Like Retiring in Ajijic and Chapala, Mexico

A retiree in Ajijic (Lake Chapala), Mexico chose to move to Lake Chapala because of its lower cost of living, better weather and friendly people. Life in Lake Chapala has exceeded his expectations -- he bought a house and got married.

Moving-To-Poza-RicaAn Expat Talks about Moving to Poza Rica, Mexico

An expat talks about what it's like living in a city in Mexico that's not popular among expats. While the cost of living was extremely low, he advises others to choose cities with a more expats.

Moving-To-Playa-del-CarmenAn Expat Talks about Moving to Playa del Carmen, Mexico

A retiree who visited Playa del Carmen and then returned a month later to rent for a year is very happy with her decision. She's living 3 blocks from the beach and paying a third of what she'd be paying in her home country.

Cigna International Health Insurance

Write a Comment about this Expat Report

Sign In to post a comment.

Comments about this Report

guest
Jul 9, 2012 12:16

For friendliness, try Puerto Vallarta. For beauty and lots of students wanting to learn English (I presume that's what you're teaching), try Guanajuato, Oaxaca or Xalapa (though there are plenty of opportunities to teach English in Vallarta as well).

Expatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in Mexico from our partner, Cigna Global Health.
Get a Quote

15 Expats Talk About Life in Mexico

Expats share some insight into what it's like to live in Mexico on a day-to-day basis once you actually make the move and get there.
Expats share some insight into what it's like to live in Mexico on a day-to-day basis once you actually make the move and get there....

10 Tips for Living in Mexico City

Expats talk about the best places to live in Mexico City, living near work to avoid hours of traffic every day, crime in Mexico City, international schools and much more.

Expats talk about the best places to live in Mexico City, living near work to avoid hours of traffic every day, crime in Mexico City, international schools and much more. ...

Is Mexico City Safe?

Is Mexico City Safe? What are the safest neighborhoods in Mexico City? Expats answer these questions and offer tips (based upon first-hand experience) for avoiding being the victim of a crime.

Is Mexico City Safe? What are the safest neighborhoods in Mexico City? Expats answer these questions and offer tips (based upon first-hand experience) for avoiding being the victim of a crime. ...

Retirement-In-Lake-ChapalaAn Expat Shares What it's Like Retiring in Lake Chapala, Mexico

A retiree who has lived all over the world as a house sitter, talks about packing up and making the permanent move to Lake Chapala, Mexico. She had been there many times before and is thrilled she finally made the move - she appreciates the lower cost of living, expat community, close proximity to Guadalajara.

A retiree who has lived all over the world as a house sitter, talks about packing up and making the permanent move to Lake Chapala, Mexico. She had been there many times before and is thrilled she fi...

Moving-To-Poza-RicaAn Expat Talks about Moving to Poza Rica, Mexico

An expat talks about what it's like living in a city in Mexico that's not popular among expats. While the cost of living was extremely low, he advises others to choose cities with a more expats.

An expat talks about what it's like living in a city in Mexico that's not popular among expats. While the cost of living was extremely low, he advises others to choose cities with a more expats. ...

Mexico Guide
Other Links
Our Story Our Team Contact Us Submit an Article Advertising Travel Warnings

Copyright 1997-2019 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal