Culture Shock in Austria



One thing an expat in Austria may immediately notice in the country is the government’s high regard for public welfare.

Austria has one of the strongest socialist influences in the world where education is free, the healthcare system is well-run and where other public commodities such as transportation, arts and infrastructure are heavily subsidized by the state. No doubt there are many foreigners around the world who consider this country when seeking out a second home.

One thing that might be considered a twist in the local culture with respect to its socialist traditions is their frankness which an unfamiliar expatriate in Austria may initially take as being rude. However, Austrians would say it is simply in their nature to speak their minds regardless of how this may make other people feel. For them, the truth is more important than pleasing a person, especially when they have to lie to cover how they truly feel about something or someone. Still, at the core of their values as a people is the great importance they put on family as the most basic social institution. In Austria, a mother who gives birth is assured of a job for the next three years.

Generally speaking, these values and virtues in the Austrian culture are rooted in their dedication to religion, although they are not particularly a religious lot. Not many Austrians practice their faith in public but they do manifest it in their private yet highly socialistic ways.   

Indeed, moving to Austria may take a little more adjustment than what one may be used to. Living in Austria, however, can make everything worth a try.



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