Cultural adjustment cycle 5 stages adapting to life - as an expatriate in the Lake Constance region.


Everyone moving to another country experiences some degree of culture shock. Culture shock is the feeling of disorientation when people starting a new life in a foreign country. They are suddenly subjected to a new culture and new way of life. They go through 5 stages of a cultural adjustment cycle. Some take longer to go through the cycle than others.


I describe how these stages might affect your move to the Lake Constance region (Vorarlberg, Liechtenstein, Eastern Switzerland, Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg).


1. Honeymoon Stage

The Lake Constance region (Vorarlberg, Liechtenstein, St. Gallen, Winterthur, Thurgau, Appenzell, Graubünden, Bavaria or Baden-Württemberg) offers a most varied landscape and topography. Numerous valleys and rivers, the large mountain ranges of Rätikon, Silvretta, Verwall and Appenzell and nature reserves structure the Lake Constance landscape (Obersee, Rhine delta, Untersee, Überlinger See, Untersee, Zeller See, Gnadensee). Beside its unique nature that enables high quality of family life (e.g. skiing, hiking), culture has a high social reputation in this area.


In the beginning Expatriates feel enriched and excited by the beautiful landscape and yet still close to everything familiar back home.


2. Initial Culture Shock

After six to eight weeks, when experiences are no longer exciting, the differences start to have an impact. The structured and very timly local people might get on your nerves. You feel disoriented and experience a loss of energy. Family support and friends are missed.

This stage lasts for about another eight weeks.


3. Initial Adjustment Stage

Following an initial adjustment takes place. You find ways of copying and functioning, usually between home, work, the supermarket and the cafe around the corner. You are familiar with the do's and don'ts of the Rhine Valley and Lake Constance area and you have become accustomed to the values and norms of life. But you are afraid to venture further. 


4. Culture Shock

The Initial adjustment stage is followed by the real culture shock with another wave of integration ups and downs. You have an awareness of the cultural differences and the distinctive dialect in German language. You experience the loss of the support of family and friends. You feel depressed, fatigue and homesick. Going back home at this stage will not support the process of integration.


5. Acceptance and Integration

Finally, you enter the last stage of the culture adjustment cycle: acceptance and integration. You know how life works and start to have a feeling of being home. You are more openminded to value the cultural differences and you adapt some local lifestyle of which you like or what makes sense to you. You start to feel like yourself again.  



The goal of a successful integration - Relocation Services Höfler

Having professional relocation support is an essential part of international personnel recruitment today. 


I personally manage your relocation and accompany you on your future employees and families before, during and after the move to the Lake Constance region.


I accompany you and your family through the adjustment period to this region and I am supporting you in finding new capabilities and hobbies that fit into your life.


You are sure to have a lot of questions about the many aspects of a successful integration. 

I look forward to hearing from you.


Iris Höfler 



“Hello, I am Iris, and as your Relocation Counselor your first new friend in the Lake Constance region."