InterNations Featured Blog
Recommended Expat Blogs: Vienna
Everybody who has spent time in a different country knows that expat life is not quite like anything else in the world. The confusion of the first few days and weeks, the slow, but steady process of acclimation, the little peculiarities and quirks that might strike you about your new surroundings: almost any situation you encounter can make for a great story. If you are so inclined and want to blog about it, of course!
Our InterNations recommended blog section features talented expat bloggers from around the world. Their offerings to the blogosphere have been selected for their great entries and high quality, whether they may be funny, informative, interesting, deeply personal or a combination of all of the above.
Let’s hear from our featured bloggers in Vienna:
The people in Vienna are definitely different; on the whole, they are more reserved and formal than folks from Southern California. Sometimes downright grouchy. I am rather chatty by nature and prefer casualty over formality, so there have been times in both professional and personal circumstances where I've definitely had to remind myself to have patience with this significant difference
No one knows in your new destination what “you” means so no one really labels you. Yeah, I get labeled “the American” but no one here knows me well enough to say, “You’d just never do something like that.”
I’ve lived in Germany before, so Austria was not entirely new, and the experience of moving to a new culture was also not as jarring as it was the first time. Speaking German already also helped. But a lot of things are different in Vienna than in northern Germany, including the language.
I was fairly well prepared before moving to Vienna. I had majored in German in the states and had previously spent a bit of time in Germany, so the transition was smooth. The bureaucracy was a bit of a rude awakening, but you get used to it after a while. If I could change anything, I would have brushed up on my American history before moving here. It’s embarrassing when foreigners know more about your country’s history than you, and I’m well educated!
I came to Vienna after only 6 weeks to prepare. My husband followed me two weeks later with our pets. Everything worked out for us, even though there were moments we despaired. Really the only thing I would do differently is to have a little more faith in our ability to land on our feet. You know, not sweat the small stuff so much, even though when you are in that situation, it does not feel like the small stuff.
Vienna is very different from Paris, it’s smaller, more relaxed, and quieter. I was very shocked in the winter because I could be alone in a street at 7pm! In Paris it’s always crowded and lively, people are out drinking and partying at every weather! But I like the cozy and chill feeling here, and I’m in love with all the funny/cute traditions: Dirndls, Kirtag.
I definitely got a culture shock when coming here. I thought that the transition from New Zealand would be very smooth, as I spoke German already as I came here, having done German at university. But I was not prepared for the formality, and the difficulty in getting to know the locals here.
Culture shock doesn’t exist for me, when travelling within Europe. Moving to Vienna wasn’t such a big difference to me because from one European capital city I moved to another European capital city. Vienna is not that big and chaotic like Athens, and that makes things pretty easy for me. I got accustomed immediately and I accepted the Austrian culture easily.
I am still experiencing a bit of a culture shock 9 years later, it´s not so much shock anymore, I am much more resigned to how things are here, it´s just different.
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