Expat Exchange
Free MembershipSign In
William Russell Health Insurance
William Russell Health Insurance

Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Leeds, UK

Submitted by Snerd


Leeds, England

An American expat in Leeds appreciates the NHS and good public transportation, but has had difficulty finding a job of a similar level to what she had in the US and adjusting to the expensive housing with limited storage.

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

Leeds

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

I was lucky to have worked here for a year before making the final move. So I had a good idea what to expect.

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

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 is supposedly the same but the local accent is sometimes difficult to understand!

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

Not really.

Relocating with Cornerstone

Whether it be finding a home, schooling, relocating a pet, moving your valuables or any other settling-in needs you may have, our partner, Cornerstone Relocation, can support you. Their tech-driven, innovative approach makes relocating to London, UK, Ireland and beyond a happy experience! Get connected with Cornerstone today.

Relocating with Cornerstone

Whether it be finding a home, schooling, relocating a pet, moving your valuables or any other settling-in needs you may have, our partner, Cornerstone Relocation, can support you. Their tech-driven, innovative approach makes relocating to London, UK, Ireland and beyond a happy experience! Get connected with Cornerstone today.

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

There is always something you weren't expecting. A lot of Americans find they miss the food (especially Mexican-type) but that wasn't such an issue for me. When I first arrived the culture reminded me of what the US was like when I was a child. But now it all seems much more Americanized with a lot more cars, American TV shows and so on.

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?

Yes, at first I was just happy to observe the differences, then I suppose I made more of an effort to blend in and resented other Americans. Then I reached a stage where I stopped thinking of being "foreign". Having recently made a second move after an interim back in the US, I find I still have some culture shock -- and part of that is shock at how the UK has changed since I've been away.

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.

I think there is depression when you realize this is for keeps. There is a sense of loss -- that you are no longer the person you once were. There are some things you don't even think about until you go back to the US and realize you missed them. For example, we would go back usually in the cooler months but the first time I went back in summer I realized I missed seeing all the wild flowers (even weeds!) and birds that are not found in the UK.

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

The main plus for me is the NHS. I was lucky to have good health insurance in the US and was close to top-notch hospitals and doctors. But many Americans have had to live with poor health care or none. The Affordable Care Act is in the throes of changing that, whereas the UK has provided full coverage for everyone for a long time at no point-of-service cost. The other thing I appreciate is good public transportation.

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

The greatest difficulty I had was in finding a job at the level I had had in the US. Another challenge is getting used to housing. Space is at a premium and very few houses provide the storage that Americans are used to.

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

I once stayed with an English couple and offered to wash the dishes after the meal. They were totally amazed that I scrubbed out the tea pot!

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

Be open to new experiences. You can't expect everything to be just like home -- nor would you want to.

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

UK GuideUK Guide
Learn what members have to say about living in UK.

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

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

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

Expat Healthcare Advice in UKHealthcare & Health Insurance in UK

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

Expat Talk about Healthcare Advice in UKMembers Talk about Healthcare & Health Insurance in UK

Expats in UK offer advice about healthcare in UK.

Real Estate in UKReal Estate in UK

Real estate listings in popular cities and towns in UK.

Guide to Real Estate in UKGuide to Real Estate in UK

Advice for people renting and buying real estate in UK.

Pros Cons of Living in UKPros & Cons of Living in UK

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 UK.

Cost of Living in UKCost of Living in UK

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

Thanksgiving-in-LondonThanksgiving in London

There are numerous restaurants in London that offer wonderful Thanksgiving menus for expats.and locals! Here are few of our favorites.

An-Interview-with-A-Lady-in-Londons-Julie-FalconerAn Interview with A Lady in London's Julie Falconer

An expat interview with Julie Falconer, a travel writer and author of the blog - A Lady in London.

8-Tips-For-Working-In-London8 Tips For Working In London

Our working in London guide offers information and tips for expats.and others that want to work in London.

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

UK GuideUK Guide
Learn what members have to say about living in UK.

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

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

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

Expat Healthcare Advice in UKHealthcare & Health Insurance in UK

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

Expat Talk about Healthcare Advice in UKMembers Talk about Healthcare & Health Insurance in UK

Expats in UK offer advice about healthcare in UK.

Real Estate in UKReal Estate in UK

Real estate listings in popular cities and towns in UK.

Guide to Real Estate in UKGuide to Real Estate in UK

Advice for people renting and buying real estate in UK.

Pros Cons of Living in UKPros & Cons of Living in UK

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 UK.

Cost of Living in UKCost of Living in UK

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

5-Tips-for-Living-in-Hassocks,-England5 Tips for Living in Hassocks, England

Expats living in Hassocks live in a suburb with a relatively easy commute to London. It's proximity to the South Downs and Brighton make Hassocks a small town worth considering a London suburb.

5-Tips-for-Living-in-Gerrards-Cross,-England5 Tips for Living in Gerrards Cross, England

Expats living in Gerrards Cross live in a suburb with a relatively easy commute to London. As with other suburbs close to London, you will pay a premium for the easy access.

5-Tips-for-Living-in-Sevenoaks,-England5 Tips for Living in Sevenoaks, England

Expats in the UK who want to live outside of London but work in the city might find Sevenoaks in Kent to be the perfect place. While it offers a great commute time by train, you will pay a premium for the convenience.

5-Best-Suburbs-for-Expats-Living-in-London5 Best Suburbs for Expats Living in London

Expats moving to the UK who plan to work in London often want to live in a village or smaller city and commute to the city. Here are a few options to consider.

Copyright 1997-2022 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal