After moving internationally, many expats need to adapt to new cultures. When leaving the states, you should prepare for the culture abroad so you know what to expect. Sometimes Americans will move abroad and experience a shock that their cultures are very different. For this reason, we compiled some of the best ways to mitigate troubles in the transition.
Read our guide below on how to adapt to new cultures and beat the culture shock abroad.
The Best Ways to Adapt to New Cultures Overseas
Many expats ask us how to adapt to their new cultures. To answer this, we’ve gathered some of the best ways we’ve found to adapt to new cultures and prepare for life overseas. As a disclaimer, there are definitely other ways and not all of these may be for your specific destination. Some of these may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people are not ready to make the changes needed.
Enter the Country with an Open Mind
The first place to start with adapting to a new culture is to go with an open mind. If you close yourself off to the culture, you will feel as if everything is out of place. Be ready to embrace the differences in lifestyle and fully enjoy the chance to experience the way other people live. Doing this will allow you to adapt more easily and you will have a generally better time adapting overseas with that mindset.
Get Familiar with the Culture Overseas
Being thoroughly knowledgeable about the culture overseas will help you adapt to the new culture when arriving. An example of this is being ready to kiss someone on the cheek as a greeting. Where that is not the norm in the USA, many countries use this a casual greeting. Avoiding this may be interpreted as rude and increase the dissonance between you and the culture. Knowing the cultural nuances beforehand will be beneficial and is worth doing.
Learning the Local Language
One of the best ways to avoid a culture clash is to learn the local language. The local populace may not speak English which creates a language barrier between you and them. When you know the language, it is much easier to understand the new people around you. Even if you are in an English speaking country, the slang and terminology is different. For example, in the England saying “cheers” could mean thank you or goodbye. Adopting this slang will also be useful when getting to know people abroad which also helps you connect faster.
Ask About Things You Don’t Know
Many times we see people choose to stay quiet when they don’t understand parts of a culture. It’s going to be very difficult to fully adapt to a new culture if you don’t learn the reasons the locals are doing something. Asking questions will clear up any misunderstandings and the people generally appreciate the honesty.
Find a Safety Net of Expats
This may sound like advice opposite to earlier, but having a fallback of people from the same culture alleviates culture shock. Sometimes the culture overseas makes you homesick and increase the culture shock you experience. By having expats you know nearby, you can always experience a little bit of home while you are there. This may be the opposite of adapting to a new culture, but it may help in the long run. Once you are comfortable it may be easier to try and assimilate.
Ready to Go Overseas?
Now that you have some tips on how to adapt to new cultures overseas, start your international move with Schumacher Cargo Logistics.
With over 40 years of international moving experience, our services will take your goods overseas with no hassle at all.
If you’re ready to move, fill out our Online Quote Form and we’ll begin your shipment today.