Living abroad is an exciting opportunity to experience diverse cultures and environments — to meet people from all over the world. However, there is often a period of adjustment after moving to a different country. It takes time to learn a new language, customs, gestures and a monetary system. Here are some strategies to help you adjust to a foreign culture.
The stages of cultural adjustment
It often helps to know that what you are experiencing has been experienced by many other service members and families. Understanding the stages of cultural adjustment can help you recognize that your feelings are perfectly normal.
- Apprehension: When receiving overseas orders, it is not unusual to feel some unease or worry about how you will handle the new opportunity.
- Exhilaration: Taking in the newness of the situation is exciting. A feeling of fascination or enthusiasm is typical as you pack up for your new destination and could last until shortly after your arrival in the foreign country. Hold onto that feeling.
- Culture shock: After spending a bit of time in the new culture, you may become tired and overwhelmed from all of the learning you have to do — different types of measurements, tipping, shopping, money, housing — not to mention trying to master a foreign language.
- Integration and acceptance: After a while, you get a better grasp of the language, the gestures become second nature and you know how to pay for things with new money. Your family begins to feel at home in the foreign country and more relaxed in your new settings.
Strategies for blending into a foreign culture
The better you can adapt to a new culture, the more you can seize your overseas adventure. Here are some strategies for getting along with the natives in your host country and blending into your new home.
- Try to speak the language: Most individuals appreciate when you try to speak their language, even if you do so imperfectly.
- Speak English clearly: Many individuals in the host country speak English, but don’t understand slang phrases or jargon. Try to speak slowly and clearly to avoid misunderstandings.
- Eat the native foods: In foreign cultures, food is often a symbol of hospitality. Eating the foods offered to you is a form of a compliment to your host. Even if you don’t like it, try to eat it with a smile and thank the host for a tasty meal.
- Dress appropriately: Clothing is a central part of the customs and traditions of most cultures. While shorts and a t-shirt may be perfectly OK to wear in the U.S., they may be considered rude in some parts of the world. Make sure you know what kinds of dress are offensive in your foreign culture.
- Learn how to address people: Some cultures are very formal in how they address each other. Become familiar with the titles people use and what is considered courteous.
- Be on time. Your friends in the U.S. may not mind if you’re running 15 minutes late for a lunch, but in some cultures being tardy shows a lack of respect for the other person and is considered rude.
- Be open-minded. Put your stereotypes aside and try to be receptive to new ideas and behaviors.
Adapting to a new culture, while not always easy, is part of the fun adventure of living overseas. Contact Military OneSource with any questions or concerns.
About Our Company
Going through a divorce is one of the more difficult and challenging prospects you can face in life. This is for a number of reasons. Part of the problem is, that you can often be uncertain about the outcome. This is on top of the fact that, any time the law and lawyers need to get involved, things can quickly become complicated and convoluted. It can difficult to understand and keep up with everything that’s going on. This only adds to the stress you are no doubt feeling. But that’s why we at The Federal Way Attorneys for Divorce are here. We are solely dedicated to helping you take away all the uncertainty in any such family law matters, to make this difficult process that little bit easier to get through.
It’s easy to say we can help make any such time in your life easier and less complicated, but how do we do it? Well firstly, our expert divorce attorneys and family law team make sure that we simplify all the legal jargon you are likely to come across, ensuring that you can follow the entire process. We often notice that this is one of the biggest sources of frustration when it comes to dealing with legal matters. Along with this, we also take away all the uncertainty about the outcome. With our divorce lawyers on your side, you can be confident in getting the best possible outcome, as we are dedicated to fighting hard for you.
Bardo Lawyers is a boutique firm with a national presence in the States of Victoria and New South Wales. With four offices in the Melbourne CBD (VIC), Glenroy (VIC), Parramatta (NSW) and Regents Park (NSW), we aim to use innovative systems and processes to ensure your solution is delivered efficiently and reliably. We care about the local communities we work within and constantly strive to make them better.
At Bardo Lawyers, our primary practice areas are Immigration and Migration Law (Specialists), Family Law, Commercial Law and Estate Law. Since inception, our firm has continued to grow to service the legal needs of our clients. We focus on building and maintaining strong relationships with our clients by being responsive, transparent and committed to our clients’ legal objectives. We pride ourselves on the creative legal solutions and cost-efficient services provided to our national and international clients. The diversity in our team allows us to deliver quality legal advice in a language that you can understand.