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Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Brisbane, Australia


Brisbane, Australia

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?

Brisbane

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

No

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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?

n/a

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.

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Let the Adventure Begin! is our premium weekly relocation newsletter that guides you step-by-step through your international move. The weekly newsletter begins 8 months before your move and runs through your first 4 months abroad. For US $29.99, you'll receive an e-mail on Wednesday with tips and advice tailored to where you are in the relocation and settling-in process.

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

very significant

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.

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