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Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador

Submitted by Jetskijo

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

Bahia de Caraquez

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

No but had visited the country a couple times before my move

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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 studied a little Spanish before I got here and then took private lessons for a month. Most of what I learned is just by getting out every day and meeting people.

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

Not much

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

It didn't really hit me for at least a week but then I had mitigating circumstances which brought me to this part of Ecuador.

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?

Not too much as I have moved to many places throughout my life and am easily adaptable. I pretty much knew what I was getting into.

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.

Being single in a town which offers nothing in the way of amenities, I became extremely despressed and also got very sick. Excessive drinking??? ABSOLUTELY as there is nothing else in this town to do!!

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

Still working on that one as I do not care for this town I am living in and is much more primitive than cities.

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

Not knowing the language and the fact that especially in this part of Ecuador, they talk extremely FAST!!

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

I'm sure I have, but don't know.

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

My advice would be to visit for an extended period before you move.

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