Living in UK >

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.

Need health insurance in UK? PassportCard Introduces an innovative approach to expat health insurance with no out-of-pocket expenses, no paperwork and no long claim processing, facilitating payout on the spot when you really need it. Outstanding service validated with more than 2 million customers for over 20 years. Get a Quote

Need health insurance in UK? PassportCard Introduces an innovative approach to expat health insurance with no out-of-pocket expenses, no paperwork and no long claim processing, facilitating payout on the spot when you really need it. Outstanding service validated with more than 2 million customers for over 20 years. Get a quote from our partner, PassportCard.

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.

Moving to UK

Moving to UK soon? AGS Worldwide Movers is a leader in the international moving industry. Their experience and expertise allows them to guarantee their clients the best quality moving services. Get a moving quote 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.

Cigna Expat Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in UK from our partner, Cigna Global Health.
Get a Quote

More about Leeds

Healthcare in UK

Healthcare in UK

Expats in the U.K. are able to utilize the public health care system, which is managed by the NHS. Many expats want to have private health insurance to help reduce wait times and several other reasons. Read for more details on how to navigate the system.

Join our UK Expat Forum

Visit our UK Forum and talk with other expats who can offer you insight and tips about living in Leeds, UK.

More about UK

An-Interview-with-A-Lady-in-Londons-Julie-FalconerExpat UK: An Interview with A Lady in London

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

How-Expats-Can-Maximise-Living-SpaceLiving in London: How To Maximise Your Living Space

Expats living in London sometimes struggle to find room for their belongings. Matt Cook offers advice on how to make the most of your space and love your life in London.

Jobs-in-the-British-National-Health-ServiceOverseas Nurses and Jobs in the British National Health Service

With scores of NHS-funded hospitals recruiting overseas nurses, Brit Peacock offers advice for nurses interested in moving to the 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.

Write a Comment about this Expat Report

Sign In to post a comment.
addacomment

Comments about this Report

flipfloop
Jun 4, 2017 16:41

Nice ...

Cigna Expat Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in UK from our partner, Cigna Global Health.
Get a Quote

Healthcare in UKHealthcare in UK

Expats in the U.K. are able to utilize the public health care system, which is managed by the NHS. Many expats want to have private health insurance to help reduce wait times and several other reasons. Read for more details on how to navigate the system.

Restaurants in LeedsRestaurants in Leeds

Support your favorite restaurants in Leeds as they recover from the pandemic. Submit a free listing for them on Expat Exchange to help spread the word about them to the expat community.

An-Interview-with-A-Lady-in-Londons-Julie-FalconerExpat UK: An Interview with A Lady in London

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

How-Expats-Can-Maximise-Living-SpaceLiving in London: How To Maximise Your Living Space

Expats living in London sometimes struggle to find room for their belongings. Matt Cook offers advice on how to make the most of your space and love your life in London.

Jobs-in-the-British-National-Health-ServiceOverseas Nurses and Jobs in the British National Health Service

With scores of NHS-funded hospitals recruiting overseas nurses, Brit Peacock offers advice for nurses interested in moving to the 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.

Copyright 1997-2021 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal