What do I need to be successful?
Key Learnings
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Prepare for living in a new country by researching language, climate, living accommodations, social norms, etc.
Minimise culture shock by investing time to experience your new cultural surroundings and understand local customs.
Know how to present yourself in any situation in order to make positive impressions that help you stand out and build stronger professional relationships.
To give an effective presentation, there are three elements that you need to keep in mind: have a presentation plan, know your audience, and engage your audience.
Effective visual aids can help the audience remember your messages.
Visuals should be an aid to the presentation – not the focal point.
Improving your professional skills in different areas (attitude, behaviour and presentation) will strengthen your level of professionalism and make more positive impressions.
Professionalism takes effort, commitment, and application.
Left unresolved, personal conflict can seriously affect your performance on the field.
Once you know your own natural response and understand the style of the other person with whom you are in conflict, you can adjust your response in such a way that leads to resolution more quickly and effectively.

Phases of culture shock

Those experiencing culture shock go through distinct phases that can be ongoing, or only appear at certain times.

  • Stage 1The honeymoon stage
    At the beginning, all the new things encountered might be interesting, wonderful, or even exciting. This feeling will slowly decrease and change to the next phase.
  • Stage 2The disillusionment stage
    The negative effects of culture shock come into play. You will start encountering difficulties or differences in your daily routine. You will feel discontent, impatient, angry, or sad. As an effect, you will, most probably, compare where you are living to your home country in an unfavourable way.
    Culture shock will happen gradually. Understand that it will take you some time to understand your new culture and to adapt to it.
  • Stage 3The understanding stage / Enlightenment
    You will start understanding your host country’s culture and why people act like they do. You will get more familiar with your environment, making you feel less lost. Finally, you will get the feeling of wanting to belong, finding ways to slowly overcome the differences.
  • Stage 4The integration stage
    You will understand the goods and bads of your host country. Besides, you will finally overcome the differences and start to have a feeling of belonging.
    This stage will be only experienced if you are staying for a very long period of time.
  • Stage 5The reverse culture shock
    The longer you live and work abroad, the more accustomed you will become to your way of life in your new country. So, when the day comes that you move back to your home country, you may be surprised to experience what experts call “reverse culture shock.” It has 4 phases:
    • Phase 1Disengagement. This stage starts before you leave for home. You may experience a range of emotions – sadness to leave friends and teammates, excitement to see family again and uncertainty about what is in your future.
    • Phase 2Initial euphoria. You will be excited to see family and friends and share your experience with them. This stage occurs shortly before leaving for home and it often ends when you realise that most people are not as interested in your experiences abroad as you had hoped.
    • Stage 3Irritability/hostility. As you sense that people may not be as interested as you had hoped you will start feeling:
      • Boredom and restlessness
      • Frustration  and misunderstanding
      • Loneliness and homesickness for where you were
      • Changes in personal relationships and in how you relate to your native culture
    • Stage 4Readjustment/adaptation​​​​​​​