How to Prepare for the Culture Shock
By Stephen Davis
Special to InternationalMovers.com
Moving abroad is an altogether different experience than moving to another state. In most instances, there will be more paperwork, the packing will take more time and you will need to figure out visas and customs regulations depening on what country you are moving to. On top of all that, there is another major factor: culture.
Your new country will have a totally different atmosphere and in many instances there will be a different language. And it's not just the words of the language; it's the whole culture behind it. Some phrases translated from English may not imply an acceptable meaning in another society. Then there is the infrastructure of the society itself. The values at the school, workplace, market and public areas; all of them have an impact.
When moving internationally it is really important that you prepare yourself for your new life in your new country.
Know the basics. The first thing to do is to obtain some basic information. This can easily be done on the web. Try to get a basic picture of the country and its culture. Videos and pictures on the web also help a lot. Many people upload their family videos on YouTube and other media sharing websites. View them to get an idea of how life goes in the country.
Watch television. The next important source is the television. If you have a satellite dish, tune it to the channels of the country you are going to. Watch their news, shows, movies and gossip. This will tremendously increase your knowledge into your new society. Material on television gives you an idea of what type of things the society looks up to. It is from the television that culture modifies in current times and there is no better way to get to know a culture when you are in another country.
Learn the history. Understanding your history is a great way to understand your new country. Search the web or visit a library for this. Being familiar with the history of a country gives you an insight into what ideologies the people relate to and the origins of their culture. This will help you understand their values in a natural way. The interesting thing is, when you get to know a culture through its history, all the practices of that society make sense. If you are going to a country that takes religion seriously or that is associated with some sort of ideology, read about their principles and doctrines. In some countries, the society may appear very narrow minded and strict on principles. In such cases it is very important that you thoroughly understand their principles, and more importantly the link of their history to their principles.
In addition to being familiar with the culture of the country, it is also important that you familiarize yourself to the culture of the particular city you are moving to. In many countries, the culture differs significantly from region to region. Knowing about the city gives you additional help in adapting to the new place.
International movers can help in this regard. Reputable international movers provide assistance to their clients regarding their new country. This helps reduce cultural shock and make your move a more memorable experience – in a good way.