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Intercultural Communication and Inclusive Leadership Coaching | Numinos Coaching
Mitä on kulttuuriäly?

By Tanja Saarinen Chávez

04 March 2023

Why Cultural Training is Crucial When Relocating to a New Country

Relocating to a new country can be an exciting and life-changing experience. However, it can also be overwhelming and challenging to adjust to a new culture. Adapting to a new culture, customs, and norms can be stressful, and cultural misunderstandings can lead to unnecessary frustration and conflict. Cultural training, also known as cultural competence or cultural awareness training courses, can help you prepare for and navigate these challenges.
In this article, we will explore the importance of cultural training programmes when relocating to a new country. From building cross-cultural relationships to understanding cultural differences, this guide will give you the tools and strategies needed to successfully integrate into a new culture.

Why is cultural training important when moving to a foreign country?


Cultural training can help you to understand the cultural differences and increase cultural awareness during international assignments or between your home country and the new country. This can help prevent misunderstandings and enable more effective communication.
Cultural misunderstandings can range from minor miscommunications to more serious clashes. Developing your cultural knowledge and cultural intelligence can help prevent these misunderstandings by teaching you about the nuances of the new culture and how they differ from your culture. 
Cultural training programmes also offer tips on how to establish positive relationships with locals by showing respect for their traditions, customs, language, and ways of being. Building strong relationships helps you feel more connected and comfortable in your new home.

Pinpointing a new home in a map when relocating


Adapt more quickly and reduce culture shock


Cultural training can help you to adapt more quickly to your new home. It gives you a better understanding of the country's social rules. With greater understanding and knowledge comes greater acceptance and flexibility in adapting to local customs, resulting in successful relocation. This promotes personal well-being because it reduces stressors caused by culture shock which many people experience when moving abroad. Feeling comfortable with the local culture alleviates anxiety related to the unknowns of daily life in a foreign place.

Increase job performance

If you're relocating for work, cultural sensitivity training is especially important because different countries have different ways of doing things. Cultural differences in the workplace can be vast, and knowing how to navigate them is crucial when relocating to an unfamiliar environment.
Without cross-cultural training, you may find it difficult to build relationships, or you may even offend your colleagues unknowingly. For example, in some cultures, it is common to address colleagues by their first name, whereas in others, it might be more formal to use their last name.
Furthermore, businesses in different cultures have unique approaches to communication, decision-making, and teamwork. A lack of knowledge about these differences can result in cultural misunderstandings, missed targets, and ultimately impact job performance. Cultural competency training helps you to quickly adapt to your new work environment and understand how your job and leadership style will affect your culture.
Therefore, cultural training is a key aspect of relocating to a new country, especially when it comes to job performance. It gives you the tools you need to work through cultural differences in the office. This eventually leads to better relationships with clients and colleagues, better job performance, and better communication.

Methods of cultural training for relocation


Cultural training can take many forms, and the method that is most effective for you will depend on your learning style and goals. Here are some popular methods of cultural training for relocation:
  • Language training: Learning the language of your new country is a crucial part of cultural training. Taking language classes can help you communicate more effectively and understand the culture on a deeper level, and of course, reduce the language barriers. 
  • Cultural orientation programs: Cultural orientation programs are designed specifically for people relocating to a new country. These programs cover a wide range of topics, including cultural customs, norms, and values.
  • Cross-cultural coaching: Cross-cultural coaching involves working with a coach who has experience in cross-cultural communication. They can provide advice and support that is tailored to your specific needs and goals. For example, they can help you change your body language to fit your new cultural environment.


Cultural training workshop


Best practices for effective cross-cultural training for relocation


To ensure that cross-cultural training programs are effective when relocating to a new country, here are some best practices to follow:
  • Start early: It's never too early to start developing your cross-cultural competencies. Ideally, you should participate in a cross-cultural training workshop before you even leave your home country to reduce the cultural barriers. 
  • Focus on the practical: Cultural awareness training should be practical and focus on the skills and knowledge that you need to be successful in a foreign country so that you can gain a competitive edge. This may include language skills, cultural customs, and communication strategies specifically customized for the host country.
  • Embrace the culture: Cultural sensitivity training sessions should encourage you to embrace the culture of your new country. This means being open-minded, curious, and respectful of cultural differences.
In conclusion, it is essential to invest your time into cultural competence training when relocating into a new country as it increases your chances of a successful transition into your new life abroad and both your personal well-being and health. Not only will cultural awareness training develop your cultural intelligence to succeed in your overseas assignment, but it will also increase your job satisfaction. Cultural training is designed to make the process of moving easier. 
Do you still feel uneasy about your overseas relocation? I offer customized coaching sessions to boost your cultural intelligence and communication skills for you to succeed in the unfamiliar environment. Book a meeting to discuss more about how I can help. 


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