Expats almost always go through a period of adjustment when settling in
a new country. This article will help you to determine the stage you are, and will be,
The cycle of adjustment, can be divided into four stages:
honeymoon, frustration, integration, and home phase.
During this time, your awareness and attitude toward cultural differences change and
evolve. While this sequence is very common, your experience is individual and not exactly
Use this as a guideline to understand in which stage you are now and what comes next,
Remember, you are not alone.
➢ The Honeymoon Phase
- Lasts one or two weeks
- Full of curiosity and interest
- Attitude toward new surroundings is highly positive
- Your move seems like the greatest decision you ever made
- Feelings of excitement and fascination
- Everything is exotic and quaint
- You overlook minor problems such as the absence of central heating
- You become captivated by the language, people, and food
- You may feel like a tourist
➢ The Frustration Phase
- Can last for the first few months
- Wider exposure to country and culture
- Irritations about transportations or unfamiliar foods
- Enthusiasm is tempered with frustration
- The fatigue of not understanding gestures, signs, and language creeps in
- Miscommunications are frequent
- Feelings of homesickness, loneliness, and anxiety can happen
- Nothing is routine
- Limited language ability undermines confidence
- Differences between your home and the new culture become more apparent
- This is the most difficult stage
➢ The Integration Phase
- Usually happens within 6 to 12 months.
- Routines begin to develop
- Things start to feel normal
- You are somewhat more self-reliant and more self-confident
- You feel more familiar and comfortable with the culture and language
- Navigation becomes easier
- You try new food and make adjustments in behaviour to adapt to the long lines or long waits for public transportation. You feel positive and more relaxed
➢ The Home or Acceptance Phase
- Happens after other stages have passed
- You adopt the new culture’s style of doing things like taking a midday siesta You’re used to being on your own
- You’re able to take care of yourself independently and speak and understand the language
- You develop friendships with the locals
- You’re more effective at work because you understand the culture better
- You’re referring to it as your “home” now
I look forward to staying in touch with you, and sharing more information about living abroad successfully, no matter where you are.Meanwhile, check out RachelSmets.com and let me know how I can help.
Best of Luck,
Rachel Smets is a bestselling author, TEDx speaker, Lecturer and Cultural Trainer.
Rachel helps young ambitious professionals living abroad to shift from expat to inpat and feel empowerd to become their best selves!
Living and working abroad for many years has broadened her mind, her understanding in cultures and she has learned to turn every challenge into a new opportunity.
TEDx Talk: Your Next Step http://bit.ly/RachelSmets-TEDxTalk
TEDx Talk: Stop comparing. Be the best YOU. http://bit.ly/RSmets-TEDx-Comparing
Book: Awaken Your Confidence: 15 People Share Their Journey to Success http://amzn.to/2cl425Q
Book: Living Abroad Successfully: What, Where, When, How https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076F9Z9FP/
Free 7 Keys to success: http://eepurl.com/bLLp1n
Online course: Steps to achieve your dreams and take charge: http://bit.ly/UdemyTakeControl
New course: Living Abroad Successfully: https://goo.gl/NiVoDS