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Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Signes, France

Apr 26, 2017


An expat in Signes, France describes the problems involved with settling into family life in another country. It's a great reminder that expat life can be complicated, and it's difficult in places where we wouldn't expect.

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

Signes

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?

I am trying to learn with books and online programs but it's not going well, so I will be enrolling in French classes as soon as we move to Toulon or La Seyne Sur Mere

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

Yes

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

The culture shock was about what I had expected, but my in laws who we are living with temporarily are horrible people. I'm sure they are not what French People are like, because everyone I meet is very nice.

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?

I haven't been here 1 month yet but as I said my in laws are making this experience miserable.

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.

Depression, frustration, desperation...

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

The Food, the stores, the way France respects it's citizens, healthcare, financial help with housing if you are low income

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

Speaking to people and the customs

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

Someone was using the toilet so I went to the bathroom and used the bidet.

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