William Russell Expat Health Insurance

Living in Colombia > Medellin >

Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Medellin, Colombia

Oct 30, 2017
Submitted by medellinappartments


Medellin, Colombia

An expat in Medellin talks about adapting to the manana way of life, starting a real estate business in Colombia and the friendly Colombians.

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

Medellin

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

No.

Expats in Colombia may get a free expat health insurance quote from our partner Allianz Care, whose plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Allianz's flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. Get a Quote

Expats in Colombia may get a free expat health insurance quote from our partner Allianz Care, a leader in international insurance for expatriates. Allianz's plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Their flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget..

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 planned to take Spanish lessons as soon as I would arrive. My Duolingo app is very helpful.

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

Not really, I like to take things as they come.

Moving to Colombia?

Get FREE quotes from up to 6 international movers from The Relocator. Save up to 50% on your move to Colombia! The Relocator offers an easy and free service to receive quotes from renowned and certified movers worldwide. They only work with qualified moving companies. Over 500 movers worldwide have already joined their service to help you get the best price and service for your international move. Get your moving quotes.

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

Well... I must say I am not used to the manana-thing and the startup and registering of my businesses went painstaking slow due to the extreme level of bureaucracy, then some real estate agencies tried to scam me for over 50 million pesos so I decided to register my own agency to be able to start the apartment rental business that I had plans for.

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?

After a good month I almost decided to leave because a lot of Colombians gave me the feeling that they see a Gringo as some sort of money-for-the-taking-possibility... Later, I realised that my own behaviour caused most of it. Waving with money is not cool over here.

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.

After two months I finally started to understand the whole tranquilo/manana-thing that caused me so many frustrations, going against the grain is not the way to go... Learning to speak Spanish is also really helpful if you want to find your way over here ;-)

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

Lots of really friendly people in Colombia, If you are lost you must not be surprised if someone escorts you for half an hour to take you where you wanted to go.

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

Finding a balanced social network can be difficult when you only hang with the Gringos.

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

Beeing blunt-honest like people in my country is NOT the way to go!! ;-)

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

Go with the flow!

Allianz Care Expat Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
Get a Quote

Allianz Care Expat Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
Get a Quote


 

Medellin, ColombiaGuide to Living in Medellin, Colombia
Medellin, Colombia: Cost of Living, Healthcare and What to Know About Living in Medellin

Colombia Forum Colombia Forum
Join our Colombia forum to meet other people living in Medellin, Colombia.

Contribute to Colombia Network Contribute
Help other expats and newcomers by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Medellin.

Best Places to Live in MedellinBest Places to Live in Medellin

Here are the best places to live in Medellin, Colombia, based on the recommendations of expats that already live there. There are options for a variety of budgets in this now popular destination in Colombia.

Healthcare in MedellinHealthcare in Medellin

The healthcare system in Medellin, Colombia gets generally positive reviews from expats there. Find answers to questions about universal healthcare in Colombia, what it takes to get an EPS card and more.

Moving to Medellin, ColombiaMoving to Medellin, Colombia

Expats offer advice about everything you need to know before moving to Medellin: what to bring (and what to leave behind), how to find housing and more.

Pros and Cons of Living in Medellin, ColombiaPros and Cons of Living in Medellin, Colombia

Take off your rose-colored glasses and learn what expats and digital nomads have to say about the pros and cons of living in Medellin, Colombia.

Real Estate MedellinReal Estate in Medellin

Advice about renting and buying real estate in Medellin

Cost of Living in MedellinCost of Living in Medellin

Expats in Medellin enjoy a far lower cost of living than in major cities in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. However, work is scarce and low pay unless you are transferred there by a large company, so you'll need an established income stream to make it as an expat in Medellin.

Retiring in MedellinRetiring in Medellin

Retiring in Medellin, Colombia.

Medellin, ColombiaExpats Talk about Living in Medellin

Expats share their experiences living in Medellin, Colombia and offer advice about meeting people, schools and more.

Digital-Nomads-in-Medellin,-ColombiaLiving Abroad: Digital Nomads in Medellin, Colombia

Expats in Colombia have taken full advantage of this South American nation's miraculous comeback after decades of chaos. Digital nomads have also found there way to Medellin, its second largest city, for a wide variety of reasons.

Expat Health Insurance and HealthcareExpat Report: Healthcare in Medellin

An expat discusses healthcare and health insurance in Medellin, Colombia. There are several private hospitals in Medellin. He advises expats to purchase health insurance.

12 Tips for Living in Medellin, Colombia12 Tips for Living in Medellin, Colombia

An expat talks about what it's like living in Medellin, Colombia - the city of eternal spring. She talks about the popular neighborhood Carrera 70, enjoying life without a car, the 2017 changes in visa laws, hospitals, schools and much more.

Retiring in MedellinExpat Report: Retiring in Medellin

A retiree in Medellin talks about loving life in Medellin - it's been a great change of pace for him and his wife. He says that while some expats live on $1,500 per month, others live in $3,000.

Culture Shock in MedellinExpat Report: Culture Shock in Medellin

An expat in Medellin talks about adapting to the manana way of life, starting a real estate business in Colombia and the friendly Colombians.

Allianz Care Expat Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
Get a Quote

10-Tips-for-Living-in-Bogota10 Tips for Living in Bogota

Expats offer advice for others considering a move to Bogota, Colombia. Topics include safety in Bogota, best neighborhoods for expats, international schools in Bogota and more.

5-Tips-For-Living-in-Medellin,-Colombia5 Tips For Living in Medellin, Colombia

Expats living in Medellin, Colombia report that there are safe places to live - and that the nightlife is fun, too. Read about how to live in Medellin - a city that has become quite a popular destination for expats.

6-Best-Places-to-Live-in-Colombia6 Best Places to Live in Colombia

Colombia has made an incredible transformation. Expats in Colombia have a lot to say about the best places to live in Colombia. From cities on the Caribbean coast to inland cities, here are 6 of the best places to live in Colombia.

9-Tips-for-Buying-Property-in-Colombia9 Tips for Buying Property in Colombia

Expats in Colombia share insightful tips for buying property in Colombia. If you're thinking about buying real estate in Colombia, there is much to learn from their experiences.

Allianz Care Expat Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
Get a Quote

Medellin, ColombiaGuide to Living in Medellin, Colombia

Medellin, Colombia: Cost of Living, Healthcare and What to Know About Living in Medellin

Colombia Forum Colombia Forum
Meet other people living in Medellin.

Best Places to Live in MedellinBest Places to Live in Medellin

Here are the best places to live in Medellin, Colombia, based on the recommendations of expats that already live there. There are options for a variety of budgets in this now popular destination in Colombia.

Healthcare in MedellinHealthcare in Medellin

The healthcare system in Medellin, Colombia gets generally positive reviews from expats there. Find answers to questions about universal healthcare in Colombia, what it takes to get an EPS card and more.

Moving to Medellin, ColombiaMoving to Medellin, Colombia

Expats offer advice about everything you need to know before moving to Medellin: what to bring (and what to leave behind), how to find housing and more.

Pros and Cons of Living in Medellin, ColombiaPros and Cons of Living in Medellin, Colombia

Take off your rose-colored glasses and learn what expats and digital nomads have to say about the pros and cons of living in Medellin, Colombia.

Real Estate MedellinReal Estate in Medellin

Advice about renting and buying real estate in Medellin

Cost of Living in MedellinCost of Living in Medellin

Expats in Medellin enjoy a far lower cost of living than in major cities in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. However, work is scarce and low pay unless you are transferred there by a large company, so you'll need an established income stream to make it as an expat in Medellin.

Retiring in MedellinRetiring in Medellin

Retiring in Medellin, Colombia.

Medellin, ColombiaExpats Talk about Living in Medellin

Expats share their experiences living in Medellin, Colombia and offer advice about meeting people, schools and more.

ContributeContribute
Help other expats and newcomers by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Medellin.

Digital-Nomads-in-Medellin,-ColombiaLiving Abroad: Digital Nomads in Medellin, Colombia

Expats in Colombia have taken full advantage of this South American nation's miraculous comeback after decades of chaos. Digital nomads have also found there way to Medellin, its second largest city, for a wide variety of reasons.

Expat Health Insurance and HealthcareExpat Report: Healthcare in Medellin

An expat discusses healthcare and health insurance in Medellin, Colombia. There are several private hospitals in Medellin. He advises expats to purchase health insurance.

12 Tips for Living in Medellin, Colombia12 Tips for Living in Medellin, Colombia

An expat talks about what it's like living in Medellin, Colombia - the city of eternal spring. She talks about the popular neighborhood Carrera 70, enjoying life without a car, the 2017 changes in visa laws, hospitals, schools and much more.

Retiring in MedellinExpat Report: Retiring in Medellin

A retiree in Medellin talks about loving life in Medellin - it's been a great change of pace for him and his wife. He says that while some expats live on $1,500 per month, others live in $3,000.

Culture Shock in MedellinExpat Report: Culture Shock in Medellin

An expat in Medellin talks about adapting to the manana way of life, starting a real estate business in Colombia and the friendly Colombians.

Copyright 1997-2022 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal