Though the move to a new country might seem a great experience, many expatriates have a hard time adjusting emotionally to their life abroad.

During the adaptation process you may suffer from cultural transition stress.

Some symptoms of cultural transition stress:
  • anxiety, confusion;
  • loss of self-confidence, insecurity;
  • annoyance and irritability;
  • mood swings;
  • unexplainable crying;
  • fatigue;
  • loss of ability to work or study effectively;
  • sleeping problems, incl. insomnia or a need for excessive sleep;
  • overeating or loss of appetite;
  • aches and pain, feeling sick;
  • preoccupation with cleanliness;
  • withdrawal from people who are different from you.

If you recognize some of these symptoms in yourself, please consult a psychotherapist or counsellor. (Those such as aches, pain or feeling sick should be checked by a doctor.) You can get guidance in understanding and managing your emotions during the adaptation process. A professional is also able to assess if the symptoms indicate a cultural transition stress or some other psychological condition.