Mindful Expat Episode 5: Introduction to Culture Shock & the Expat (Emotional) Rollercoaster

What you’ll hear in this episode:
• A definition of “culture shock” and some of the ways it can manifest differently for different people.
• Some theoretical models of cultural adjustment, including various phases of adjustment that people may experience as they adapt to a new culture (and some of the limitations of these models).
• Some of the challenges (and opportunities) for couples and families as they move through various phases of the cultural adjustment process together.
• The importance of being patient with yourself as you adapt to a new culture and recognize that it’s a work in progress and whatever you’re feeling in one phase is temporary.
• Some of the particular challenges for couples and families as they’re adjusting to a new culture.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

• I mentioned a series of blog posts that I’ve written on this same subject. You can find the post discussing the models of cultural adjustment with the visuals I mention here. For the entire series of posts on culture shock and cultural adjustment, click here.
• Here is a reference for our definition of culture shock: Oberg, K. (1960). Culture shock: adjustment to new cultural environments. Practical Anthropology, 7, 177-182
• Here is the reference for the original U-Curve Model: Lysgaard, S. (1955). Adjustment in a foreign society: Norwegian Fulbright grantees visiting the United States. International Social Science Bulletin, 7, 45-51.
• And here is the reference for the updated W-Curve Model: Gullahorn, J.E., & Gullahorn, J.T. (1963). “An Extension of the U-Curve Hypothesis.” Journal of Social Issues, 19, 33–47.

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