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Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Doha, Qatar

May 11, 2015


Learn what it takes to manage the culture shock experienced when moving to Doha, Qatar. What are some of the contradictions you can expect to find there?

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

Doha

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

Yes, my own exploration

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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?

No I don't know the language; yes I'm planning on learning the language.

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

Somewhat

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

Not too much...a lot of what I read was accurate

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... definitely the honeymoon phase, irritation state, adjustment phase. Still going through these off and on.

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.

Homesickness is the only one of these I can attribute to culture shock. Missing familiar things and people who know me. Anger I experienced was somewhat culture shock in that banking is not practiced the same way as my home country.

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

I appreciate the beauty of this country and the family/friends value

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

Contradiction of desire to advance their society into a more modern model but not being open to modern culture.

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

Can't say that I have yet...I'm sure I will

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

Relax when entering a new culture and don't bring expectations that everything will work the way you are used to. Be open to trying new things... leave your personal "baggage" at home...I've coined a new phrase since living abroad based on my experience and watching those around me adjust..."is it new or is it you!"

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