International Insurance Blog
Sunday, April 30, 2017
Although each person’s experience of living in a new country is unique, research has shown that there is a common sequence of phases which are typical in the life of most people adapting to an unfamiliar culture. The process of adapting in a new country can be described in 4 phases:
The Tourist Phase: This is when you feel excited, stimulated and euphoric as you explore your new surroundings whilst noting the differences from your accustomed way of life.
The Disenchantment Phase: This is when the newness wears off and you become weary of the constant need to change your customary patterns to fit into the new way of doing things. Your sense of identity and competence in your own culture may not translate easily into your new setting and you struggle to re-establish yourself in an unfamiliar system. What appeared exciting and modern at first may seem impersonal now.
The Culture Shock Phase: In this phase you might find yourself avoiding contact with the new culture and seeking the company of others from your own country or other expats. You may be highly critical of the host culture and have negative feelings towards the local people. This is a natural response to your need to hold on to your own cultural frame of mind.
The Adjustment and Acceptance Phases: As you reach these phases you begin to function with greater ease in your new surroundings. You regain your sense of humour and begin to accept and enjoy the new culture on its own terms, as different from yours rather than wrong or worse than yours.