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Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Granada , Spain

Sep 02, 2019


Granada, Spain

One expat in Granada appreciates the fresh air and food, the weather and the focus on family. He says that life is slower in Granada and advises newcomers to learn Spanish before they arrive.

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

Granada

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

No, but I visited the country and learned as much as I can about Spanish culture. I also read books and use this site to understand better the culture.

Expats living in Spain interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA. Get a Quote

Expats living in Spain interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA.

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 took Spanish at my local community college for one semester. After I arrived, I enrolled for a language class at the university.

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

I was a bit concern but I try to be flexible.

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

Not very significant. I read about Spanish culture and visited before.

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, somewhat but on a smaller scale. I feel that I'm well prepared to be extra patient with Spanish bureaucracy and the slowness of life. Although sometimes it sill can drives me crazy. Life in Spain is about twenty years behind; things don't change much around 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.

The first six months was the hardest. I was home sick a lot and questioned myself if I made the right decision.

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

Fresh air and food, the weather and the focus on family. Life is slower here.

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

Learning a new language.

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

I recommend to learn the language and visit the new city before you move if possible. Also, it's better to bring only what you absolutely can't live without or can’t find in your own country - pack light. Be flexible and patient with yourself. It will take time to adjust to your new country and culture. Celebrate small victories so you don't give up or get depressed.

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