Are you aware of the cultural shock when moving to a new country?

When thinking of relocating from Germany to a new country, the culture you are stepping to should be considered, especially if you are used to your cultural thinking. Different country has their wealth of culture, tradition and history.

While you’re at a foreign country, you will experience lots of new things, the feeling of uncertainty and confusion often arises. People usually call this the “cultural shock”.

What is the Cultural shock?

The cultural shock according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary describes as “a feeling of doubt, confusion, or nervousness caused by being in a place that is very different from what you are used to”. 

Every expatriate experiences a cultural shock, to more or less extent, as it’s caused by several factors, even though what is a cause of cultural shock for one expat might be different for another one.

What are the causes?

Some common causes are:

  • Change in the weather conditions (extreme temperatures, lack of sunlight…)
  • Different language (communication in a foreign language, use of dialects…)
  • Dressing codes (formal dressing code at work, social dressing norms, lack of sizes…)
  • Gastronomy (unable to find certain products, spicy or oily dishes…)
  • Social rules of behavior (difficulties to identify non-verbal communication, local expectations)

Solutions for the cultural shock:

1. Learn about the new culture in advance

Before relocating to a new country, it is best for you to do some research in advance as there will be lots of new aspects of that culture for you to get know about. Learning about the new culture’s famous cuisine, basic greetings and how to use their transportations will be certainly helpful. You can check out some useful information in our destination guides to learn more about your destination’s culture.

2. Research some useful sentences in the foreign language

There will definitely be times where you will bump into a local who does not speak your language. But don’t worry! Be patient and use hand gestures to point things that you want, such as places on the map or even food on the menu. If you have the time, you can also research about some common phrases in the foreign language to make things easier for you.

3. Be comfortable with being uncomfortable

Being in a foreign country will be an incredible opportunity to learn more about yourself and that place’s culture, it is also a great way for you to meet new people! The best way to learn one’s culture is by talking and learning from the people there, don’t be afraid and talk with the locals and you will find yourself able to learn more and relate to their culture.

Transitioning and adapting to a new culture takes time and patience, but in the end everything will work out and will have more positive outcomes than you think! 

If you would like more help in your relocation, click here to get a free moving quote now.