Before you are ready to move to another continent, make sure you are prepared for wht you might find there. As long as you are prepared for the culture shock moving to Europe may be a good choice for you. Let’s explore what you may find when returning to the old continent.
Alright, let’s make some things clear. A lot of these culture shocks are tied to a specific country in Europe. What? Europe isn’t one big country. Well, not really. Europe has a lot of separate countries all on the surface area of about two and a half states of Texas, and here you can read about some of the European countries. So, even other Europeans experience culture shock when leaving their respective countries. Just imagine what it would be like for an American.
Food that has American in it usually isn’t really American
In most European countries, when you order a café americano what you’ll get is a straight black coffee with no sugar or cream. It is not completely clear why such a coffee would be called American, since Americans rarely drink their coffee straight.
Also, a filet Americain is not a steak any American would eat. It is not really a steak at all. It is ground up raw beef. Just
NO free stuff
Are you are used to all the free refills you can drink? Do you take twenty packs of ketchup from McDonald’s so you can have ketchup home? Well, in Europe you’ll have to pay for these things. You’ll sometimes even have to pay to use the public restrooms.
Culture Shock after moving to Europe: Smoking
Well, everyone knows that smoking is bad for you. But, in Europe, there are still a lot of smokers. Even though smoking indoors is banned in almost every European country, you can still find a lot of people smoking outside or on the balconies. If you are really in the mood to avoid smokers, deffinitely avoid the lunch break. That’s when everyone goes out to smoke. If you want to go anywhere from London to Sofia, you will find a bunch of smokers there. The up side is, if you smoke yourself, it will be easier to meet people over a smoke.
In Europe people have a generally more normal physique. There are very few obese people, and very few pumped-up body builders. People in Europe generally have leaner and healtier looking bodies.
History (but like really old)
History is everywhere in Europe. In any given European country you can find pieces of both recent and ancient history. History is generally well preserved. From ancient Greek structures in Greece, to buildings from the World Wars and Leonardo Da Vinci’s workshop, Europe offers a mix of very interesting places for a history enthusiast. Something you should definitely consider before moving to Europe.
Drinks are short, except for beer
No XXL Coke to be found here. Europeans generally have their drinks normal sized. This goes for coffee as well. Especially in Italy. In rome, if you want more than 3 oz of coffe you must tell the barista. And suffer his disguisted looks while he prepares it.
Actually, a lot of the things you will be able to buy are regular sized. No extra large packs of anything almost anywhere in Europe.
Alcohol is everywhere
One thing you realize when moving to Europe is that the alcohol is everywhere. It can be bought in every shop and if you are in
Germany even in museums. Germans take it so far that you are allowed one beer with your lunch at work. What can we say,
Europe loves beer. In some countries it’s much cheaper than soda and you can order it with your BigMac.
In countries like France, you can have a glass of wine while watching a movie in the movie theater. And in all of the European countries you are allowed to drink in the street without a brown bag.
The dreaded metric system
Everywhere except the United Kingdom. Yep, you walk meters, not yards. You drive kilometers, not miles. And if you say that it’s 15 degrees outside, Europeans will probably say it’s a lovely warm day. This might sound like something that you already know, and so it’s not an actual culture shock. But, wait until it starts affecting your life on a daily basis. When you order a pint of beer, or miss something by an inch. Your European friends won’t let you forget it. So, if you are moving to Europe, take some time to learn it.
Generally chill atmoshere
No one is in a hurry and everyone takes their time. Drivers tend to wait on eachother without honking, people tend to walk slower and take their time with their daily rituals. Not all cafes have a to go coffee, but you are expected to sit and sip your coffee slowly. If you want to go to dinner, you usually stay for a couple of hours in the restaurant. It’s like everything’s slowed down compared to the USA.
European people do not have the same idea about nudity as Americans do. In Europe, nudity is common on TV, in magazines or newspapers. In some countries it’s even common on bilboards and in shop windows (in Amsterdam, Netherlands). And if you are planning on visiting a beach in Europe, make sure it is not a nudist beach. Or, if you want to visit one of those, make sure you don’t stare too much.
No rasism in Europe. They removed it in 1945. Everyone is treated equaly and everyone is polite to everyone. You still might feel weird if you move to Norway as an African-American, and being the only black person in 120 miles. BUt you will not be treated differently ona ccount of your skin tone.
Everyone is very polite, except Parisians
One of the most beautiful cities in the world. Populated by a horde of malicious, petty and outright evil citizens. Don’t be alarmed, they are not being mean to you because you are American, they are not racist. That’s how they treat everyone, even each other – with contempt. So, when you are moving to Europe, take this into consideration.