Living in Australia > Brisbane >
Expat Advice: Culture Shock in
An expat in Brisbane confesses that she is stuck in the rejection stage of culture shock. She has found the locals to be unwelcoming and is having a difficult time getting out and meeting people.
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?
Moving to Australia? Get a health insurance quote from our partner GeoBlue. With access to over 1.7M medical providers in 190 countries around the world, GeoBlue provides members with solutions and industry-leading digital services - ensuring top-quality coverage to people who live, work, study and travel internationally. To speak with GeoBlue's Sales Team, call 1-855-216-9486 (US) or e-mail [email protected].
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?
Were you worried or concerned about culture shock before you moved abroad?
A little. I expected resources to be different and for the cost of living to be higher.
Moving to Australia?
Get FREE quotes from up to 6 international movers from The Relocator. Save up to 50% on your move to Australia! The Relocator offers an easy and free service to receive quotes from renowned and certified movers worldwide. They only work with qualified moving companies. Over 500 movers worldwide have already joined their service to help you get the best price and service for your international move. Get your moving quotes.
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?
All of the above except the cultural adjustment phase, I seem to be stuck in rejection.
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.
Depressed, anxious, increased eating, severe homesickness. Not wanting to go outside and meet people.
What are some things you appreciate most about the new culture?
The nature! Beautiful flowers everywhere, butterflies, birds, exotic wildlife, pools, sunny days, botanical gardens, good coffee. a gorgeous country!
What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?
The people. Not nearly as friendly as their reputation implies. I have found the majority of people in Brisbane to be rude, superficial, and occasionally nasty. Very close minded and prejudiced. There seems to be a general feeling of apathy towards strangers. People don't help each other out and don't seem to care. Lack of manners. Poor sense of community.
Did you "commit" any embarrassing or humorous cultural blunders? If you did and you'd like to share them, please do tell!
Not that I know of.
Do you have any advice or thoughts about culture shock you would like to share?
Not so far.
More about Brisbane
Information about healthcare, expat health insurance and hospitals in Australia.
A Brit who ended up settling in Brisbane, Australia talks about culture shock, finding expat friend and more.
More about Australia
The 8 Best Countries for Brits to Retire Abroad
Many Brits choose to retire to Australia and the United States. In addition to these popular locales, Ryan Smith recommends several other great retirement destinations for British retirees.
Moving to Australia
If you're moving to Australia, here's a primer on housing, healthcare, cost of living, choosing a neighborhood and more.
Write a Comment about this Expat Report
Comments about this Report
Thanks for your posting & so sorry to hear that you're feeling this way about living in Ozland. I'm an Aussie (from Adelaide) but have travelled widely and lived in different parts of Australia as well as overseas (China, UK & east Africa) so feel I have some ability to comment on the Australian psyche & behaviour. In fact, it's one of the reasons I spend quite a bit of time away from Australia!
Unfortunately, many people arrive in Australia thinking people will interact in the friendly way as seen on 'Home & Away' or 'Neighbours' - sadly this is not the case!
Also, Brisbane and Qld in general is probably one of the most conservative & racist regions that you could live in. If you are a more genteel soul with an open mind and perhaps not so conservative views I would suggest you consider moving to Melbourne & living in one of the not too far out of the city suburbs (e.g. Brunswick, St Kilda etc). If this isn't possible, the only way to survive is to join groups in Brisbane that reflect your own social views - they do exist but may require some digging!
Good luck & feel free to PM me if you'd like to discuss this further or just want to vent!
Hi there. I moved to brisbane 6 months ago and am going through similar. If you want to meet for coffee I would be happy to do that.