Culture Shock: From ‘wrong’ to ‘different’
Going to a new country often elicits something known as Culture Shock – a reaction of surprise, shock, or in extreme cases even fear of being in an entirely different place than the one you’re used to. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in the next country over or on the other side of the world – there will always be culture shock to some degree.
So where does Culture Shock come from? This sometimes ‘fearful’ feeling basically means that you start to believe things are wrong over there, and that the way of doing them, the correct one, is as you are used to back home. Allowing yourself some time to try to discover more about your new destination in advance is the best way to avoid cultural shock.
If you are moving from a Western country to the Middle East, for example, you may want to do some research on this culture’s essentials: religion, weather, language… It’s the same if you’re travelling the opposite way.
This will definitely help you understand your new country’s culture better and recognise that those things that were previously ‘wrong’ are now just ‘different’. And that both ways of doing things can be ‘right’.
Getting to understand very different cultures will take you more time if you are only with others whose culture is similar to yours. But you need to take this seriously as, after all, it isn’t just about avoiding culture shock, but also showing some respect for your future neighbours.
If you need help with cultural training before your relocation to a new country, feel free to contact us on 0333 220 7947. We would be pleased to help.