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How to Prevent Culture Shock

Moving somewhere new, especially if you are moving to a foreign country, or you don’t know anyone in the area already, can be a very exciting process.

Once the initial excitement has worn off though, many of us experience what is known as culture shock and struggle with the need for home and familiarity. However, this can be easily avoided if you put steps in place to prevent it from occurring in the first place.

Read on for ideas on what you can do that will help you settle in to your new life smoothly and happily.

  • Keep Yourself Busy

Upon arrival in your new city or country, start making the most of this new opportunity and change in your life. Get exploring straight away.

Printing a list of everything you need to organise before you leave is a good way to help keep you focused once you have made it to your final destination.

Your list should include fun things like discovering a cute café or checking out certain shops or areas immediately, as well as the practical things such as finding somewhere to live, enrolling for healthcare, and so on.

  • Meet New People

It’s inevitable that you will miss family and friends back home, and naturally they will want to hear from you and know that you are safe.

This is of course fine, but make sure to concentrate most of your efforts on making new friends as fast as you can, rather than keeping in contact with those you have left behind.

Focusing on this now will mean you won’t have the urge, in a month’s time, to move back home again because you miss your old life too much. Your friends and family will understand if they do not hear from you everyday – nor will they expect to!

  • Find a New Home

Where possible, organise your long-term accommodation in advance so you can go straight there once you have arrived.

It may seem like big risk when you won’t be able to see the place in person beforehand, but it will help you feel a lot more settled, a lot faster.

You can always look for a new apartment if the one you have chosen doesn’t work out. Be sure to have signed a contract so that in the event you cannot get your bond or rent back, a debt collection agency will be able to help you.

Embrace the Differences

Laugh about and talk about the cultural differences and experiences with your new friends: help each other to accept and appreciate them.

It can be useful to talk about what differences you find challenging to accept, because you will find you are not the only one who feels this way. A new friend might be able to give you tips on how to get used to the shock.

  • Have a Travelling Buddy

If you have traveled before and you know you get terribly homesick, or if you have never ventured too far away and you are really concerned about how you will manage on your own in a new city – take someone with you!

Let everyone know where you are headed and that you are open to a traveling companion. You never know who might be interested in tagging along, or you might discover someone has contacts in your new city that they can put you in touch with.

  • Maintain Contact Back Home

Once you have established a nice network of friends in your new city and life, make sure to keep in touch with those back home.

Feeling completely out of the loop from your old life can also lead to feelings of culture shock, even if you feel you have settled in your new home. Avoid this by keeping a balance and exchanging an email every 2 weeks or so with those you love.

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