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Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Abuja, Nigeria

An expat in Abuja, Nigeria explains that it's hard to live there and that you need to have lots of money to live in a secured compound with a generator and water.

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?

The language was not a problem. Their accent is so hard to be understood in the beginning though.

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

Didn't know about culture shock before experiencing it.

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


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?

Moved through all these stages at the beginning you might be excited about the new culture. Then, you face the truth and all the problems and how much everything is different and you get depressed and you miss your homeland. Then, you adjust yourself and discover new angles in our personality.

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.

Increased eating, homesickness at the beginning, depression and crying in the middle.

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


What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

The electricity was cut off for a month and a half. Also a week without water! Malaria and fear to go out at night. Security problems and I have to be back home at 10. One day a bomb explosion rocked my window!

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

It's hard to live in Nigeria. You need to have lots of money to live in a secured compound with a generator and water. Always rub mosquito repellant. And, enjoy the company of "expat" friends. Try to visit your homeland every 3 months.

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