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FAQs for Living and Working Overseas:


Written by a former Peace Corps Volunteer living overseas since 1989

The Expat Guy: FAQs for Working and Living Overseas

Reverse Culture Shock

What is Reverse Culture Shock
and how can you avoid it?

You might get it!  "Reverse Culture Shock" (RCS) is essentially the same thing as culture shock - but you get RCS when you move back home.  Just when you think you wouldn't!

Culture shock?  When I move back home?  What?

When you move back home after a few years overseas you will have a lot of idealized expectations about how it was back home, how you remembered it, how things worked so much better and how things will go when you get back. 

And often things aren't exactly as you remembered.  You will, just like regular culture shock, have feelings of elation, disappointment, and even anger and depression.

Research about Reverse Culture Shock says . . .

Some literature indicates that the more and better you adapted to your new country overseas, accepted and lived in that culture, then the greater your RCS will be when you return home.

For many long-term Expatriates

Their home country is not "home" anymore.  They feel a little odd there and the high speed, high stress life that relatives and friends live holds little interest to them.  In fact, repels them a bit.

Not totally comfortable anywhere?

There is an old saying (please send me the reference if you know from where!) that says:
"Once you have learned to live anywhere, you don't feel totally at home anywhere." 
Many long-term expatriates would tend to agree with that.

Each Country Has its own Challenges

After you live in a variety of countries, each one leaves you just little more skilled at dealing with cultural and adjustment issues, and I think it all becomes easier and easier.

Don't worry about it - it is just another of life's challenges.  Challenges that, after living overseas for a few years - become easier and easier to handle.

 

 

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--  Ly Liet Thanh -- Training Director
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How to Evaluate TEFL Programs
For when you start teaching English Abroad:
 Here's how to do your TEFL right!

 

 

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