Moving to a culture that is different from your own can be a very challenging undertaking. When a new country becomes your home, a period of cultural adjustment and adoption will follow.
Different language, religion, political background, customs and general way of life may make this process seem even more difficult than it really is.
In order to adjust to your new community, you will need to become familiar with some of the most important aspects of the new culture, without giving up on your personal cultural background and tradition. Keep in mind that accepting and adapting to the new environment and culture doesn’t mean that you will have to let go of your old culture, traditions and customs. However, when those two different cultural concepts collide, you are likely to experience culture shock and go through all its stages. In order to alleviate the effects of the culture shock you should be better prepared for the big move long before the moving day occurs.
How you are going to perceive the new surroundings and how long it will take for you to adjust to the new culture depends on your mind set and personal attitude. Confusion, stress and disorientation are usually associated with the culture shock and it will come as no surprise that everyone moving to another city or country will experience it at some point.
Tips and trick for maintaining your culture when moving abroad
Whether you are moving to another country or to another city within the same country, you are likely to feel the effects of change in a more or less intense manner, depending on your personality. No matter how exciting experiencing a new culture is, you should know what to expect and how to deal with possible obstacles and inconveniences. Remember that culture shock can affect people differently and each person can have his/her own set of reactions to the new circumstances.
– Make your new place feel warm and comfortable by adding charm and character of your previous home. Recreate your old home’s familiarity by using photos of your loved ones, special gifts and valuables reminding you of your old home, neighborhood and loved ones.
– Keep in touch with the people from your old city so as to stay connected with your roots. This will also help you balance between your old and new culture.
– Keep some family traditions and cultural rituals unchanged, but try to be open-minded as far as local tradition is concerned. Maintaining your old culture gives you a sense of security, while embracing certain aspects of a new culture makes you a good role model for your children in terms of accepting different social and cultural tendencies.
– Become a member of a local social club that is connected to your original culture and the people with similar life experience. Socializing with people who have also moved to a foreign country will help you meet like-minded individuals, overcome the culture shock and adapt to the new environment more efficiently. Also, attending events hosted by your community can bring people together and help you go through this transition.
– Develop new friendships and spread the word about your country and culture. Some of your new neighbors or coworkers would like to get to know you better and understand your situation, so share with them the most amazing details about your culture and tradition.
– Contact local institutions looking for foreign professionals and offer your services. In order to feel part of the new community you can volunteer for a local organization or club and meet a lot of new different people. They will appreciate your contribution and involvement in community development.