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Jacko
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Hi Everyone,

I have read all the comments ever since joining , and quite frankly , to me it is such a relief to see that we are not alone in how we perceive this transistion period. Can anyone tell me how long it will take to fully ' assimilate ' ? I sometimes feel like a complete idiot as it has really been a very up and down road and an emotional rollercoaster ride ! :rolleyes:

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I think there might be a good reason (after all!) why the visa process takes so long. It teaches you patience, above all, and tests you to see if you really want to go.

To answer your question. Some people feel as if they have been here all their lives the minute they step off the plane, others never quite integrate. In my humble opinion, I think it depends 95% on your own outlook and the effort you make to join in. I think if you have lived or travelled abroad a bit you should not have a problem, also probably people who have lived in a few places in RSA and know what it is like to be the new kid in school, should be fine. If you have always lived in the same town with your entire immediate family a few km from each other and your relatives popping in unannounced, I think you will struggle. I think it takes about 3 years to really settle in completely and I would not listen to the voices before then that say you should go back. It is funny that when the home sickness strikes one only remember the good times. That is when a holiday in RSA will jolt you back to reality.

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A big welcome, Jacko ~ and yes, it is a roller coaster ride and sometimes I do feel too that the extent of the process can be a blessing in disguise. It gives me the time to work through all those feelings, doubts, worries, anger, guilt, irritation, occasional denial / resistance, you name it. At this stage we're actually in this process about two years ourselves. We're getting so used to the waiting that I think when the time comes for us, it will be a shock all over again !

But, everything in it's own time.

Enjoy the forum and the process !

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Welcome Jacko. After more than 2 yrs I have not assimulated. Some days I still feel like a foreigner. For a few moments you forget that you are an immigrant and then someone says, "So where you from "New Zealand or South Africa". But it does feel like home.

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Jacko the more you get involved in your community the quicker you assimilated. Personally I would say the first 3 years where the most challenging for me. I personally think it is really important that you make friends outside of your own ethnical community group. Either join a club, art group, sport group, develop a new hobby, learn a new language and get involved in an active church. The church we joined really helped us assimilated very quickly. Our church is very multicultural and has heaps of immigrants attending so it really helped us connect with a person that were experiencing the same challenges as ourselves. We have made some of our best friends through church. All the best with the journey.

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Welcome to the forum!

As for assimilating...as some of the other members already said, it really is a personal thing. People differ from each other, and feel 'at home' at different stages. Also, sometimes people realise they're not happy in the city they arrived in, and move on to another city where they feel more at home. It's quite a roller-coaster ride, but it's a wonderful adventure! :ilikeit: All the best with your adventure!

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