Moving to a new country is a big deal and your family must have gone through many things. Do you feel happy sharing some of your experiences living in Hanoi? We are sure your knowledge will be invaluable for the new families that are starting their new life here!
Of course, with all of this positivity, every expat will feel some form of culture shock when moving to a new country and we were not exempt from that.
As welcomed as we have been made to feel, there will always be something new to get used to in a new place regardless of how far around the world you’ve moved.
Hanoi and Vietnam in general is a beautiful place to live. You’re never stuck with nothing to do in your free time! Once you get your bearings you can easily find what needs restocking in your kitchen and when living in a community like Vinhomes, you’re never far from friends.
I think the biggest challenge for me is the language barrier. As you would expect, Vietnamese is much more widely spoken here than English. To a person who only speaks one language, Vietnamese seems very difficult to get to grips with. “Friends of BIS” and the set-up of Vietnamese lessons is helping that. Slowly but surely, I will be able to tell a taxi driver where to go without using my hand gestures and I will be able to haggle the price of fruit at the market without just shaking my head.
Traffic and pollution are a big change to what I would call, my normal. The roads are packed with bikes and cars (mainly bikes), road crossings are not really called for here and pavements are pretty much non-existent in the city. However, I have very quickly found confidence in crossing the road, know where I need to get to when I’m out and about, and my children are incredibly vigilant around the busy city and heavy traffic.
The pollution at times can be tough, especially if you are not used to it but it’s not as scary as you may think. It doesn’t stop your day, it doesn’t control your daily life. We just take it easy on the bad days, keep the window closed in the house and it’s nothing a good Air Purifier can’t deal with!
Do you have a message to all new families that will be joining BIS Hanoi community this upcoming academic year?