Culture Shock: Transitioning to Life in the U.S.

Moving to a new country can conjure up a mixture of emotions: Excitement, anticipation, happiness, and even fear. First thing to realize is that this is completely normal, especially if you are moving to an exciting and often chaotic city such as New York or Los Angeles.

It’s called culture shock.

Before moving, it’s easy to envision your new life. Many people who decide to work professionally in the U.S. may anticipate the excitement they will feel when they start living in a new culture with new faces, language and even new currency. However, many do not anticipate just how overwhelming the move can truly be.

Stepping out onto a busy New York City sidewalk for the first time can feel like being engulfed in a huge flood of people. For many people, even professionals, moving to the U.S. from a foreign country can often be suffocating. Even Americans who move to a big city from small towns experience this same feeling. The first thing you have to do is breath. During this time, it can be easy to start feeling lonely. Again, this is totally normal. Exploring your new home will often be confusing and frustrating. The key to surviving this stage is patience and time. Take time to get to know your surroundings. Make a routine for yourself—maybe find a local restaurant or café and visit it every morning. The more you frequent the same spots, the smaller the world can start to feel. Those new faces begin to become familiar. This is cultural transitioning. Start to get comfortable! In time, you will start to regain your sense of stability and motivation.

Remember: You’re a successful professional in your field. Once the excitement stage is over, it will be much easier to focus on your work and projects.

Most importantly: Embrace and enjoy the experience!

 

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Sep, 05, 2015

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