How to deal with culture shock after you get English teaching job abroad

We all have different ways of travelling to other countries and we all certainly have different expectations. But here is my number 1 rule of travelling anywhere in the world. When it comes to expectations, have none. One good way of having zero expectations is to not do any research before getting somewhere, but this is ill-advised for a professional move and may only work for travelling.

By all means, do all the research you need to do to make your transition as smooth as possible, but take everything you read with a pinch of salt. If we were to take everything we read as all the experience we need, what would be the point in travelling?

If you expect nothing, it’s hard to be disappointed, and every small good thing that happens will be all the more enjoyable.

There are a few things however, that you should find out before you go and be prepared for.


Find out what the culture is for haggling, to make sure you either don’t get ripped off too badly, or that you don’t get into unnecessary altercations because haggling is unacceptable.


Similarly, find out the cost of basic amenities you use on a day-to-day basis, like transportation, food, drinks and accommodation.

Dress code

Stay safe whenever you arrive, don’t wear the shortest of shorts or reveal shoulders and cleavage. Once you have stayed for a few days, you will notice what gets stares and what doesn’t.

Having a positive attitude is key when it comes to embracing a new culture. If you get to a new country and expect to find the comforts of your home country, then you will feel home sick from day one. But if you get there hoping to find differences and celebrate them, then every small quirk will bring you excitement and intrigue. Start an Instagram account if you don’t already have one and find different cultural differences to document for your followers. Every new experience, even if it’s bad, will be a reason to post a picture.

Smile and be nice and respectful, even if it’s not your style to do so, do it more than usual. Positive behaviour usually attracts the same, and this works in every culture around the world.

Last but not least, it must be said that when moving to a new country and dealing with culture shock: embrace the shock, celebrate it and culture shock might be

the greatest thing you ever experienced.

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