Moving to another city, state or country can be surprisingly challenging. Once the initial excitement of studying abroad, landing a new job or igniting a new relationship has abated following the so-called 'honeymoon phase', many people find it far more difficult to settle into their new environment than they ever imagined. On the other hand, some issues only arise long after the relocation has taken place.
This 'dislocation' can be due to any number of reasons, including:
- the absence of trusted friends and family members
- being a 'trailing spouse'
- language barriers and unfamiliar modes of communication
- different work ethics, customs, or value-based expectations (cultural dimensions)
- social, religious or vocational isolation/disconnection
- a lack of connectedness to local customs, pastimes or celebrations
- a lack of understanding of another culture's theory of mind
- discovering previously hidden aspects of individuals or societies
- a large gap between your expectations and reality (including upon your return 'home')
- a lack of proper support and preparation prior to your departure/return
Many people also feel they are unable to raise the issues they may be experiencing with the 'locals' out of a sense of respect or for fear of upsetting their 'hosts'.
Furthermore, most relocation businesses do not yet provide professional psychological support for their clients (+ spouse/family)beyond 'cross-cultural training' programs and/or the services aimed at the tangible objective needs of the moving parties. Please contact me to discuss your needs today.
Crash course byDr Fons Trompenaars on cultural dimensions
A number of young adults discuss their personal experiences with culture shock in various countries
The 5 phases of culture shock
The concept of Power Distance
How an organisation can support and retain returning expats
- An overview of culture shock and adjusting to new social environments
- An 18-part mini-video series on living abroad with families
- A video interview on selecting the right people for overseas assignments
- A video on direct vs indirect communication in the workplace
- A radio interview with a young German (in German) about the experience of reverse culture shock
- A video interview (in French) on new contexts and patterns in international mobility