- The Honeymoon Phase This first stage when you just arrive in a new country is overwhelmingly positive. You're seeing everything with rose-tinted spectacles and it's exciting and fun. Everything about my new country is wonderful! What a great adventure! I love it here.
- The Rejection Stage After awhile though you start to see another side to the place and begin to feel somewhat disoriented and frustrated. Why is it so difficult to fit in? I don't understand the language. No one gets me.
- Depression Stage This is the hardest. You will feel depressed, lonely and homesick. You start to idealize life "back home" and compare your current culture to what is familiar. I'm stuck here. Is this my life now? Did I make the right decision moving here? Some people give up when this happens and return home.
- The Acceptance Stage This is where you start to appreciate the new country and feel like you fit in and belong. Yes, I can do this! It's not so bad. I'm happy here. You are now able to compare and appreciate aspects of both countries. You start to feel at home in your new home. For me what helped a lot was when I started to really make more of an effort to integrate myself here, for instance taking German lessons, going to lots of meetups to make friends, getting to know the area.
My first week living in Germany
When I was experiencing this, I started going back to Ireland as often as possible, which needless to say didn't really help me adjust to my new life here.
I mention the rough patch in my second blog post (long commute, feeling homesick, not many friends here, finding the German language difficult.)
When I started to really settle in and look on the positives.
Some useful tips for fitting in as an expat here.
If you are living abroad, did you experience culture shock? How did you cope?