How to Adapt & Avoid Culture Shock

  No matter how breathtaking the locale, how excited you are to be in a foreign country, or how many similarities your new country has to your former home, culture shock is prevalent when living in a foreign country, and it will probably affect you in some way. A 2000 study by Andrew C. Pelling at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, found the three main factors contributing to culture shock are: Cultural differences and misunderstanding Language and fear of … [Read more...]

Working Abroad: Tips for U.S. ESL Teachers to Blend In & Stay Safe

  ESL teachers need to know more than just the English language if planning to teach abroad. After you obtain your ESL certificate and land a job overseas, spend a week learning the nuances of your new nation. It will save you plenty of hassles, and could even save your life. Learn the Local Laws   Foreign countries have different, and sometimes strange, laws — even our cousins in Europe have a few odd legalities. You can be fined if you don't flush the toilet in … [Read more...]

Expats Living in India – The Expat Arc: An Expat’s Journey Over Culture Shock

  The Expat Arc is a collection of Danielle Barkhouse's jounrnal entries about her life as an expat in India. Daniellle describes her journey over the arc of culture shock, identity crisis and settling in. It includes nuggets of her humor, mistakes and a few 'light bulb moments' about living abroad.   Danielle's book The Expat Arc: An Expat's Journey Over Culture Shock can be found on Amazon.   In here you can read a chapter from her book:   Creepy Crawlies … [Read more...]

Pushing, smiling, and driving in Russia

  by Loring, Zephyrhills, Florida, USA My experience in Russia is that they need less personal space than in the USA, especially in crowds. On a crowded street or metro station, they will push you from behind. They would be surprised if you were offended by it, and they would not be offended if you push them.   I also found that people do not smile and laugh on the street much. They will open up and be very friendly in their homes, however. Hospitality means they will invite … [Read more...]

Experiencing Israel Culture shock

  Some tips about dealing with the Israeli Culture before Moving to Israel How to overcome Israel culture shock as recounted by an American who immigrated to Israel:   Moving to work or to live in a different country can be overwhelming, even somewhat shocking. It can be so shocking; society has termed the experience- culture shock! This phenomenon is somewhat inevitable. There are ways to decrease the unpleasantries of the experience. But it happens to everyone, … [Read more...]

Italian Customs and Culture

  What you Should Know about Italian Culture before Moving to Italy   Before you make your move to Italy it helps to understand Italian customs, business etiquette in Italy and Italian traditions.   Knowing a little about what makes Italian people tick helps expats in Italy integrate better in to a new home country.   The Italian people are individualistic, traditional and proud and they demand respect and consideration from those they come in to contact with. The … [Read more...]

Understanding Germany Culture

  What you Should Know about Germany Culture before Relocating to Germany   Musical, historical, political, architectural, culinary and religious influences shape the culture of Germany.   It is a country that has been physically, ideologically and politically divided.   When the Berlin wall fell in 1989, the two sides of Germany started the process of reunification.   It was a process that revealed the existence of two distinct societies within one … [Read more...]

Getting to Grips with French Culture

  Some Tips about the French Culture Before Moving to France The French culture has been sculpted by its geography, history and religious composition and is centred on the arts, literature, language, fashion and cuisine.   Understanding customs and etiquette in France will make your stay a more pleasant experience.   The French Language   Most French people, particularly in the business world, speak English. Expats should at least attempt to learn key phrases … [Read more...]

Getting to Grips with The Netherlands Culture

  Understanding the Netherlands Culture When you think of the Netherlands, windmills, clogs, tulips and cheese come to mind.   Whilst there are plenty of windmills marking the Dutch landscape, farmers in rural areas do still wear clogs and tulips and cheese are in abundance there is much more to the Netherlands’ culture than meets the eye.   Interacting With The Dutch People   Greeting in the Netherlands is done by way of a handshake. For close friends and family … [Read more...]

Understanding Spain Culture

  Some Tips about the Spanish Culture Before Moving to Spain When most people think of Spain culture undoubtedly flamenco dancing, bull fighting, sangria, sunny vacations and popular expat hangouts spring to mind. But there is much more to this southern European country that is home to over 40 million people.   The Spanish Way of Life   Spain successfully mixes the traditional with the modern and the lifestyle is laid back. The Spanish people are known as friendly and … [Read more...]