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Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Budapest, Hungary

May 25, 2015


Budapest, Hungary

An expat in Budapest enjoys the lower cost of living, but the bureaucracy and local laws frustrated. Her biggest shock was that the US Embassy didn't really care about expats.

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

Budapest

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

No, had "ethnic" background.

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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?

Speak the language (95%).

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?

Surprising in a bad way.

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?

Local law/parking enforcement and bureaucracy was the worse!

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.

Wanted to go home.

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

Rural living, lower cost of living.

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

Lazy/don't care type attitude like it is no big deal. Like telling kids a day before competition at school they can't go because there is "no bus"! WHAT?

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

Mixed up words that have other meaning of sexual nature.

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

Yes. My biggest shock was how little my Embassy abroad cares about it's citizens. As an American I found my Embassy, well how shall I say diplomatically "LESS THAN HELPFUL"! I'm not sure if it is true to all of our Embassies but they just don't care much about "EXPATS"!

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Comments about this Report

guest
Aug 27, 2018 13:01

Sad to say, but among the DOS career tracks consular services (which includes helping expats and tourists) is kind of the dummy track. Political cone is top, economic follows. It is an old story that everyone in the embassy fears a VIP visit because staff have to shlep around someone’s donor or 2nd cousin. You might have better luck at a pen actual consul as opposed to the main embassy since the consuls are more service oriented.

RobGood1634
Aug 27, 2018 13:01

Sad to say, but among the DOS career tracks consular services (which includes helping expats and tourists) is kind of the dummy track. Political cone is top, economic follows. It is an old story that everyone in the embassy fears a VIP visit because staff have to shlep around someone’s donor or 2nd cousin. You might have better luck at a pen actual consul as opposed to the main embassy since the consuls are more service oriented.

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