In this article, I’m going to talk about one of the struggles that Expats have to overcome during the very first months after arriving the new destination: The famous “Culture Shock”.
People and professionals use this definition to describe a group of feelings a person experience when leaving a familiar culture to be part of a different one. These feelings are confusion, stress and disorientation among others.
Leaving the culture of our own means confronting many challenges. Some of the values, social norms, and traditions in the new country or city, might be very different from beliefs about “how things should be” in the place where you grew up.
People carry a certain background and personal experiences. This sort of “emotional suitcase” they take with them, will shape the way they’ll perceive the new environment and eventually, how they’ll get adjusted.
During the process of adaptation people will have to deal with the emotional effect of leaving “home” and everything related to it: Family, friends, food, social norms, beliefs, values, music, etc. At the same time, they will feel the pressure to “fit in” and get adapted to the new culture.
Some of the symptoms are:
Some of the situations that might cause Cultural shock are:
The “secret” is to realize you are going through culture shock, own it and do your best to overcome it. You need to keep in mind that it can be a hard at moments. If you feel you cannot deal with it, there are no reasons why you have to go through it alone, seek help!