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Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Zanzibar, Tanzania

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?


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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 did not speak before, but learned on the spot with the help of locals and internet. I am planning to boost my basic knowledge with courses.

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

No, since I worked in the past in Africa, in more difficult conditions

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

Limited! I went six month before to ensure i got still the love of the continent as i had it before! i tried to live as much as possible as i would do when living there, no hotel stay and the experience was positive!!

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 yes !! In fact the chronology is somewhat mengled each stage comes and goes indepently of each other, more influenced by things happening in the surroundings!!

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.

Anger and frustration due to the lack of comprehension and shared with all expats here the sense of laziness the locals displace

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

the real welcome KARIBU is here not just a word!!!

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

slow down and accept what we all say here: "this is africa" and "inch allah" these two sentences says everything

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

not really, since i was more or less prepared by family who had a lot of experience here

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

get a first living in phase before coming for a longer time was for me the best test

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Comments about this Report

Apr 30, 2012 09:11

enshallah is the term., not inch shallah...."If god wills it"

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5 Tips for Living in Tanzania

Expats living in Tanzania find a wide variety of cultural influences and geography, which is largely dependent upon where in the country they live and what brought them there in the first place.

Expats living in Tanzania find a wide variety of cultural influences and geography, which is largely dependent upon where in the country they live and what brought them there in the first place....

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