Category Archives: Culture Shock

The illusion of the “similar culture”

The weirdest thing about moving to France was the culture shock. Not the fact that it existed — I was prepared for that.  No, what floored me was how intense it was, especially in comparison to my previous move. Who … Continue reading

Posted in Adjustment, Canada, Culture Shock, Language | Tagged , , , , , , | 159 Comments

Bordeaux banking blunders

My first trip to the bank in Bordeaux was a non-event. I walked up to the building, nervously rehearsing the upcoming conversation in my head, and pulled on the door. Nothing happened. A little flustered, I tried pushing it. Nada. … Continue reading

Posted in Adjustment, Culture Shock, France | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Hold your horses: we don’t eat that here

Since horsemeat outrage is suddenly in vogue, now seems a good time for me to write about my own scandal involving equine flesh. Although it played out on a smaller, more domestic scale than the one currently gripping Britain, believe … Continue reading

Posted in Culture Shock, Ethics, Food, France, Third Culture Kids | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Culture and context: the hand-holding conundrum

Here’s another little gem that came my way via Twitter: a thought-provoking video about overcoming knee-jerk reactions (“challenging your inner Stone Age brain”) in unfamiliar cultural settings. “Cultural intelligence is all about interpreting behaviour in the right context and choosing … Continue reading

Posted in Culture Shock, Working Overseas | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

I woke up late this morning after a busy night (dog, chocolates, vomiting — long story) and discovered that at some point over the past few hours, nominations were announced for the Academy Awards. Aside from sobbing my way through … Continue reading

Posted in Adjustment, Culture Shock, Film Review | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Why rituals are important for expat families

When I was little, my brother and I would carefully lay our stockings at the foot of our beds on Christmas Eve. Christmas stockings had a very specific purpose in our house: they kept us occupied for several hours so … Continue reading

Posted in Adjustment, Culture Shock, Identity, Third Culture Kids | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

The sharp shock of returning home

Many expatriates, living in far-flung corners of the globe, long for home. Paralyzed by culture shock and reeling from homesickness, they imagine how wonderful it would be to return to the familiar comforts of the life they once had. Even … Continue reading

Posted in Culture Shock, Repatriation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 39 Comments

How to manage culture shock

The physical and psychosocial symptoms of culture shock vary from expat to expat, as does the extent to which each person is affected. The good news is that there are several strategies to diminish the severity and manage the symptoms. … Continue reading

Posted in Adjustment, Culture Shock | Tagged , , , , , , | 10 Comments

The sneaky symptoms of culture shock

Culture shock is the state of disorientation that results from contact with a foreign culture. Most expats experience it to some degree, which is not surprising: if culture is defined as the shared reality of a group of people, then … Continue reading

Posted in Adjustment, Culture Shock | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

What is culture shock?

Culture shock is the state of disorientation that results from exposure to an unfamiliar culture. (Repatriating expats are affected by a variant known as reverse culture shock.) Its symptoms are both physical and psychosocial. Culture shock affects us in two … Continue reading

Posted in Adjustment, Culture Shock | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments