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Expat Living – Navigate culture shock

13 Dec 2022

Moving to a new country is often filled with excitement and thrill initially, but eventually, adjusting to an unfamiliar culture in a new environment may come with frustration and disappointment. Cultural shock occurs when you once found charming fail to appear in real life. It moves through four stages: Honeymoon, Distress/ Frustration, Adjustment, and Acceptance/ Resolution. While everyone experiences these stages differently, understanding the process and knowing what to expect can help significantly cope with culture shock.Local coworker welcoming an expat

Honeymoon

This stage is overwhelmingly positive. Newly arrived expats are usually excited to explore their surroundings and discover the local culture. Everything is new, and life feels like one big adventure. There is a desire to learn the language and explore the culture, and if an obstacle arises, it’s not viewed through a negative lens.

Distress/ Frustration

The most challenging stage is when culture shock starts to set in, and you will feel disappointment, depression, distress, and frustration. Even minor things, like getting on the wrong train, can trigger a disproportionately negative response easily. With the majority of things to organize, there are ample opportunities for frustrations and difficulties to arise. A lack of local connections might see loneliness and feelings of isolation to kick in. The stress caused by constantly being out of your familiar culture can build up like a pressure cooker. 

Work frustration

Adjustment

Expat gains more insights into how to get things done and develops a more comprehensive understanding of the lay of the land. They can better adjust their behavior and expectations to adapt to their new culture and feel more familiar and comfortable with their new environment. Although there will still be frustrations, life becomes more manageable, much easier, and less stressful.Having meetings with local coworkers and exchange ideas

Acceptance/ Resolution

The final stage sees the Expat familiar with their new environment, gather the resources needed to get things done, and feel at ease. There is an understanding that cultural differences are just that – differences, not a matter of right and wrong.

Global team celebrating successIf you’re looking for relocate domestically, internationally, or even relocate your business, Asian Tigers has end-to-end services to support every aspect of your move to make this huge step more efficient and easier for you. Whether you’re looking for experienced staff to handle your prized possessions, security and protection for your items, and more, we’ve got you covered.

If you found this article interesting, you might also be interested in taking a look at:

  1. Relocation can shape a better you
  2. Common matters expats have to encounter
  3. Get Ready to Move!
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