Culture shock has a life cycle of its own and can last for several months. First there is the tourist or honeymoon stage. Everything looks interesting, food looks delicious, and places worthy of a photo. When that stage wears off, usually when the day to day hardships set in, the novelty wears off and you hit what is known as the crisis stage. As the name implies, frustration levels rise as you try to communicate often very basic needs. This stage is usually marked by anger at the local culture you initially found to intriguing. It also leads to the third stage, the flight stage which is precisely what the name reflects: you want to run away. Fortunately, you will work your way to the fourth stage, the period of readjustment which marks the end of the culture shock cycle. Like a bad cold, your culture shock magically ends and you manage to create new routines. Remember: culture shock is not fatal.

Tips: Anticipate a challenging adjustment period of at least three months before making a decision whether you like it or not. Be able to adapt to a new lifestyle that may not replicate your current lifestyle. Look for what is available, not for what isn’t