Stages of Culture Shock

by Chris

There are 4 stages to culture shock: Honeymoon, Crisis, Acceptance and Adjustment. Almost all expats go through them at one time in their lives, if they move somewhere long enough.

The Honeymoon stage is when everything is grand, new and exciting. Crisis begins when you realize that things are not as you wished or hoped for. Your skills - be it language or otherwise - do not suffice and it is a big struggle to do the things you easily did at home without a second thought. Accomplishments are few and not very rewarding.

It is not until you acclimate a little to your new home that you can reach the Acceptance stage.

Once you begin to feel a bit at home and learn how life functions, you can move into the Adjustment stage. When you get to this stage, you will have learned what works for you and what does not work. You will be able to make changes to compensate and finally conquer the problems that make your new life hard.

For some it is a long process(years), while for others it can be months or even weeks. A lot depends on your support system and your willingness to jump into a new life and find new solutions and ways to cope.

Hope your life in Denmark is as good as our families has been. Going on 12 years and feel quite at home. I do miss Chicago, but regular trips home always help.

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