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Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Busan, Korea


Busan, Korea

We immediately loved the friendliness of the people here and actually got more frustrated with the other foreigners who didn't appreciate what was around them.

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

Busan

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

None

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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?

No, We can read it, I have learned while we are here. We am currently doing our best to learn to speak

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

No, We didn't even think about it.

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Moving to Korea Soon?

AGS Worldwide Movers can move you to and from anywhere in the world. Presently the AGS Group has over 141 locations in more than 95 countries and has one of the largest networks in the international removals industry. We relocate 85,000 families every year. Free moving quote!

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

Our adrenaline was so high at the beginning we didn't experience it at first. But, over time...especially when we were tired we did have a few meltdowns (mostly my wife :)

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 at all... we immediately loved the friendliness of the people here and actually got more frustrated with the other foreigners who didn't appreciate what was around them.

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.

Patience, Acceptance, Tolerance, the ability to stop questioning everything.

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

The smiles of the people, the helpful attitudes that many have after just struggling with a simple Korean hello. Most will help you with anything.

The ability to bend over backwards running around like nuts to help you and then in the end, nothing was really done. (here instead of just doing A to B, they do A, D, F, Z, N, Q, H, then B)

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

Remembering that you chose to live abroad. Stop comparing and embrace where you are.

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

We plead the 5th.

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

Check out our blog for 18 of the best tips we can give you for going abroad. http://adventuresweseek.com/2012/07/16/if-we-knew-then/ Here are some examples.

11. A wise coworker once told me, “Never ask a why question (if your boss is Korean), chances are you won’t get a direct answer or the same answer twice. Just go with the flow, it will save you a whole lot of frustration. Instead, just ask yourself, “why not?”

16. Always carry a small thing of toilet tissue in your purse; most public restrooms have rolls out by the entry door to the bathroom. Be sure to grab a good handful before going into the stall. Otherwise I think you may be setting yourself up for an interesting sequence of nasty events.

18. Finally, remember that English is a whole lot more universal than Hangul. Therefore, even though you may not think so….pssst…they know when your are taking a verbal dump on their country more times than not. So, choose your words wisely and if you feel the need to vent…don’t do it in public.

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

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Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
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William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

Korea GuideKorea Guide
Learn what members have to say about living in Korea.

Korea Forum Korea Forum
Talk with other digital nomads and expats in Korea on our Korea forum - meet people, get advice and help others.

Korea Index Korea Index
An index of all of our site's Korea information.

Contribute to Korea Network Contribute
Help others in Korea by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Korea.

Expat Healthcare Advice in KoreaHealthcare & Health Insurance in Korea

Expats in Korea offer advice about healthcare, hospital visits, emergency rooms visits, finding a doctor and buying health insurance in Korea.

Real Estate in KoreaReal Estate in Korea

Real estate listings in popular cities and towns in Korea.

Guide to Real Estate in KoreaGuide to Real Estate in Korea

Advice for people renting and buying real estate in Korea.

Pros Cons of Living in KoreaPros & Cons of Living in Korea

Take off your rose-colored glasses and learn what digital nomads & expats have to say about the biggest challenges and the greatest rewards of living in Korea.

Cost of Living in KoreaCost of Living in Korea

Digital Nomads & Expats offer insight into the cost of living in Korea.

10-Tips-for-Living-in-Korea10 Tips for Living in Korea

Expats in Korea agree that traffic is terrible and should be taken into serious consideration when deciding how far from work and school to look for homes. Expats also agree that Korea is a very homogenous society and foreigners will get lots of stares.

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