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Culture ShockFour on a scooter? No helmets? Despite regulations, expect to see this in Asia.

When you move abroad, especially for the first time, you will most likely experience some sort of culture shock, when familiar social and physical cues or patterns are no longer present.

Think of it like this: You cannot speak the language, and conducting simple chores like calling someone to get your gas on can become a big ordeal. You need to rely on the help of others to do what were previously simple tasks. On top of these challenges, you may encounter working long hours, experiencing frequent illness and missing your home and loved ones.

At first, you may find the challenges interesting. However, almost every expat will go through a period of prolonged frustration, become easily irritable, and find himself/herself develop an uncharacteristically negative outlook.

The important thing is to be aware that this does happen, but it can pass quickly by keeping yourself open to seeing things from the other perspective and by looking on the bright side. Don’t be shy about asking for help; it is natural to need it. Appreciate the help that your colleagues and friends will offer you and try to return the favor in the ways you can, as making relationships mutually beneficial can limit feelings of dependence.

Overcoming culture shock is a rewarding, character building experience, so we definitely encourage you to embrace it!