The most unexpected challenge of life as an expat


People moving abroad for a longer period of time are usually well prepared for culture shock as it is expected when first living in a foreign country. But when returning home, reverse culture shock often comes as an unpleasant surprise. Shouldn’t returning home be easy? Well, experienced expats mostly describe reverse culture shock as more demanding and draining than the many challenges they face when leaving.

In order to shed more light on this phenomenon author Mona Gabriel has recently published a guidebook encompassing all aspects of reverse culture shock when returning to Germany (in German language). Starting from basic principles in psychology the author highlights varying areas of problems which can arise, with a strong emphasis on social and private life of expats. Family, friendships and relationships are prone to suffering through expat lifestyle and the development and personalities of children are strongly influenced by spending long intervals of their youth abroad. Many adolescents describe themselves as “different” from their peers upon returning, and misunderstandings and misconceptions frequently occur. But even grown-ups may be challenged by feelings of estrangement and lack of understanding when returning home.

The author draws from her own life experience and many interviews with other expats and professionals working in the field of culture shock and relocation consulting. Practical tips and suggestions on how to best face the many challenges of reverse culture shock complement the interviews and stories. No matter if you are on your way abroad now, will be returning soon or have already arrived back in Germany, the book “Zuhause, aber trotzdem fremd“, will provide many insights in experiences and incidents, which will be coming your way as a returning expat. And surely most returning expats will find themselves and their stories mirrored in the stories and thoughts shared.



About the book:

Zuhause, aber trotzdem fremd – Wie deutsche Expats den Rückkehrschock bewältigen

by Mona Gabriel

A guidebook for expats returning to Germany

251 pages. Available through Amazon.

Paperback: 14,98€   ISBN: 979408525904

E-Book: 9,99€         ASIN ‏: ‎ B09ZPVY3Y8

Get it here:



Mona Gabriel

Mona Gabriel has been through the ups and downs of expat life since childhood. Born in the US (where her parents spent several expat stints) she spent her adolescent years in the US, France and Germany. As a young adult she lived in California for a year. She returned to Germany for her university education and started a job in international marketing at an international medical publishing company. With her husband and two kids she later moved to Bratislava, Slovakia, for three years. She has been working as a freelance journalist and copy editor for more than 20 years. Since 2017 she also supports expats moving to Germany as a relocation consultant. Today Mona Gabriel lives in Leipzig.

Let's speak