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 Israel:
Come with an open mind and an open heart, leave your expectations back in your home country, because then this country will open up so many doors and possibilities in your life, and the life changing, exciting times and experiences you will have will be almost overwhelming.
Don’t try to compare things here in Israel with things back home. Accept the fact that you are not only in a different country, but in a totally different culture. There is a big difference in being a tourist in a foreign country and coming there to live.
The Ulpan is a great place to meet people, particularly in Tel Aviv at ulpans like Ulpan Gordon. I made some great friends there. Follow up all the connections people give you too – there are so many great expats to meet in this city!
Shock is a big word, no shock. But yes a lot of adaptation. It takes time to find the right balance between preserving your principles, your education and your mentality once you have to deal with a different one. But as in everything in life, you could either focus on the differences and keep complaining or take it as a challenge and a fascination to observe.
I don’t think that I would change anything, though I certainly was not fully prepared. I think that it’s impossible to really prepare for such a huge life change, just hang on tight and enjoy the ride!
Language skills are crucial – though our Hebrew was quite decent. Being in a place like Ra’anana also helps since there quite a large number of Americans and other Anglos living there. But trying to make the transition to an “Israeli mentality” from a North American mentality (or an Anglo mentality from elsewhere) is quite a hurdle that is only softened by a place like Ra’anana.
Life in Israel is so so different from the life I left; new culture, new language, new alphabet, new religion, not to mention new friends, new family and the constant thoughts about those I left back home. The weather also plays a significant role - hot, hot, hot for 10 months of the year in Israel and wet and grey at home; our lifestyle is very different to the one we would have back in the UK. I am a work in practice in terms of getting used to it, it is not easy being an ex pat and certainly not easy living in Israel and all that that means. Culture shock is an understatement!