Five techniques to overcome culture shock

When you’re newly moving to Sweden or any new country in the world, culture shock is expected, and it’s a natural part of the process. Although challenging, culture shock does not dictate your enthusiasm or the type of future you might have in your new home. It simply means that you have some catching up to do in order to be able to fully understand the new culture, environment, and its people.

We really understand how inevitable culture shocks are; we’ve been there. So here are 5 techniques that are proven to make this phase easy to overcome.

I- Baby Steps

We have to keep in mind that culture shock doesn’t go away overnight. Instead, just like boiling water, it slowly fades away.

When you’re getting settled in Sweden, instead of expecting yourself to be completely in tune with the Swedish culture upon arrival, you need to appreciate the process and celebrate your small wins. For example, the first time you manage to sit through a Swedish meeting without violating any social norms and expectations is a reason to celebrate.

Enjoy the small victories. They will keep your spirits up while you cope with culture shock.

II- Ask For Help

Swedes are very good when it comes to giving help whenever asked for it, but don’t expect them to offer you help if you don’t request it. So, always ask your Swedish friends, neighbours, and coworkers if you have any questions on general behavioural expectations. They will definitely serve as an excellent tool.

III- Manage Your Expectations

When arriving at your new home, you may tend to set unrealistic expectations for what is to come. Not everyone experiences culture shock immediately. It might take you a couple of months before you realize it. Culture shock hits hard, and it can make you feel homesick, that you’ll start to question your move.

So, here’s what you need to know: culture shock can last for a minimum of three months and can last up to a year. Therefore, expecting yourself to overcome it quickly or not overcome it at all is unrealistic.

IV- Talk to Other Immigrants

Other people’s experiences will be valuable for you to use while adjusting to your new home. Once you find a community of immigrants, even they do not come from the same country as you, they will help you through the steps of culture shock. They can offer you friendly tips to help you along the way and will be concrete proof to you that adjusting is possible.

V- Immerse Fully

The best way to adjust to a new culture is to throw yourself into it. The more uncomfortable you feel in your new home, the more you are going to want to stay cooped up in your house, unfortunately, though this instinct will only make culture shock worse.

Instead, the more you experience your new culture and meet people, the faster you will adjust to your new home!

So, these are the five techniques that we promise will help you through your move to Sweden.

Want to know more about the process? Want more tips and guidance based on real-life experience?

Enrol today in our course: The Swedish Work Environment: Expats’ Guide by visiting, and let the journey begin!