I still remember how I struggled with Culture Shock in England when I relocated several years ago. It was tough for the first few months, but then I got over it. I had to anyway. Prior to my moving to England finally, I had been visiting on a yearly basis so I was familiar with the country and its culture to a certain extent. But visiting a country regularly and relocating fully are 2 very different things, as I came to understand. Culture shock affects everyone in different ways. It does not matter whether they don’t travel often or they are regular travellers.
I relocated finally to England in 2008. There was a master degree I had interest in at the University of the West of England (UWE) in Bristol, and so I enrolled. Which is how I got here. Bristol is an amazing city. I had a lovely time studying there, and I really do miss the city. This year marks my tenth anniversary as a UK resident, which is why I felt the need to write this post.
Culture shock was a module I studied in Bristol Business School. Many people are unaware of how different cultures are, and how tricky it can be to embrace a different culture. If you have ever had to relocate, then you would know all about how hard it can be to try to make a life in a different country, as you most likely would have experienced it first-hand.
How to Survive Culture Shock in England
Here are a few ways I survived the culture shock in England.
Have a good sense of humour
Luckily, I was born with a sense of humour so I didn’t struggle too much with this. I know how to have a good laugh at myself and situations. This trait helped me get over issues quickly and helped me pursue my interests. Taking yourself too seriously in a country like England may not be a wise thing.
Embrace the web
One regret I would always have is not starting my blog earlier. I could have started this blog easily in 2008 when I relocated. There was a reliable internet connection. I had no social life and very few friends. And I was bored to death half the time in my student house. I spent most of my free time online doing nothing meaningful. My evenings were usually spent with me on my laptop, checking out cheapest online shopping sites. Starting Fashion and Style Police then would have been a smart way to utilise my time.
Fall in love with Tea
I was not a big tea drinker prior to my move to the UK. Coming from a much warmer climate meant it was more chilled drinks for me. But first thing I noticed about the Brits is how much they love their tea. I am still not a big tea drinker. I prefer a good cup of coffee/cappuccino. But I have fallen in love with tea a bit more since my relocation.
Embrace the unpredictable weather
Embracing the unpredictable British weather is one of the first things I struggled with. In the early days, I never knew what to wear. One minute it is warm and sunny, and the next minute it is wet and cold. It is pretty still the same, but I now know not to expect anything from the weather in England.
Be wise with your cash
I have always be relatively good with money. But relocation to England made me even better with money. I quickly learnt how to save every extra penny I made, and how not to spend crazily, in order to pay my bills and survive. It taught me to be more responsible and manage my money properly. In my early days in Bristol, I made use of many money transfer companies, as that was the fastest way of receiving and sending money. As an international student, I was only allowed to work 20 hours a week, so money was usually tight. But I remember making the most of those 20 hours allowance.
It is good to know there are now more money transfer companies around. This makes it a lot easier to send more home to loved ones if and when needed. I have friends who send money to Romania regularly thanks to companies like Transfer Rapid. So it is great to know services like this are available for people who are living abroad, away from their family and friends.
Have you ever relocated to a different country? How did you handle the culture shock?