Adaptation in Armenia: what to expect and how to cope - Move2Armenia

Adaptation in Armenia: what to expect and how to cope

Adaptation in Armenia: what to expect and how to cope

Every immigrant has uttered the phrase “culture shock” at least once. This condition is not new and has been studied for a long time. Briefly, it can be described as an unpleasant experience of encountering a new culture, a lack of understanding of how to act and react in certain situations. The worst thing is that quite often this is not a one-time phenomenon, but a long-term condition with alarming symptoms:

  • homesickness, feeling of loss;
  • pessimism, apathy, fears;
  • nervousness, anger, aggression;
  • difficulties of self-identification;
  • depression.

In this article, we will look at what can cause culture shock in an immigrant and how to quickly adapt to a new country.


  1. What can cause culture shock in Armenia
  2. How does the adaptation process work?
  3. Ways to speed up the adaptation process of an immigrant in Armenia

What can cause culture shock in Armenia

Russia and Armenia have a centuries-old common history. With minor disagreements, the countries still lived for the most part in peace and good neighborliness. Cultural exchange began a long time ago, but reached its peak level during the Soviet Union, when the migration of people from republic to republic brought cultures even closer.

Standard buildings, common values, and the teaching of the Russian language in schools have united people for almost 70 years. That is why relocation to Armenia in 2023 is one of the least stressful decisions for a Russian.

However, some things can cause culture shock. Especially among people who come to small Armenia from large cities:

  • Garbage, landfills

Armenia is an incredibly beautiful country with wonderful nature and beautiful sights. But the impression can be spoiled by the amount of garbage. It is unnoticeable in the city center, but just a few steps away from the main streets, you will definitely see the waste. Unfortunately, residents have picnics and leave behind watermelon rinds, plastic dishes, bottles...

But there is good news: clean-up days are organized periodically, including relocants. For example, this is done by volunteers from Green Green,. You too can join the community of environmental activists. Information on separate waste collection can be found in our FAQ section;


  • Violation of personal boundaries

Armenia is a small country, people are sociable, and everyone has their own opinion on any issue. You will certainly recognize the political, civic, and family positions of taxi drivers, salespeople, and waiters. There is no point in arguing; it is unlikely that you will be able to change your opinion. But this is a chance to come out of your shell and become a more open, less inhibited person.

True story from the life of the author. During the first week of living in Yerevan in a rented apartment, I was awakened at six in the morning by persistent knocking on the door. When I opened it, a gray-haired grandfather stood on the threshold with a thick stick and a knife in his hand. Despite the fact that the highlander was armed to the teeth, he did not look dangerous. He smiled and said something in Armenian. My modest attempts to explain that I did not understand my interlocutor were unsuccessful: my grandfather was almost deaf, and I was not ready to scream at six in the morning, half asleep. A minute later, from my bulging eyes, the neighbor realized that I was not a problem in Armenian and said in Russian: “Good morning! Welcome". After that, he peacefully hobbled about his business. Perhaps to other residents of the house. After such a dialogue, I could no longer sleep;


  • Only developing service

In Armenia, waiting 2.5 hours for food delivery is normal. The taxi driver’s persistent request to come to the other side of the street is normal. Periodic outages of water, electricity, and mobile communications are the norm of local life. So we either humbly get used to it, or opening our own business. Many, by the way, do just that. For enterprising people in Armenia, there are plenty of free niches;


  • Children are kings

The love of Armenians for children is all-consuming. If you moved with your kids, then this is a plus for you. Free lollipops are provided in stores. Although not all parents are delighted with strangers touching their children, there is no need to protest: your child will still be affectionately coddled on the streets. And if someone else’s baby is swimming in a puddle or fountain, we pass by and don’t teach anyone about life. Children in Armenia can do anything;


  • Expensive prices for modest housing

With the arrival of the relocants, paying about 90,000 rubles for a one-room apartment in a Khrushchev-era building has become the norm, but it is still unpleasant. There are landlords who may not even clean the apartment before you move in. Uninvited roommates in the form spiders and centipedes can also be included in the cost of living. Not all apartments have radiators, and central heating is rare, although it can be cool in autumn and winter.

What to do? Become an IT specialist or get another job. And also remember the advice of the Japanese that dry air from batteries is harmful to the skin. So let's buy warm pajamas and rejoice in preserving our youth.


In addition to the above, immigrants need to get used to a more relaxed lifestyle even in the capital; to the fact that being 15 minutes late is not late, and that everyone knows each other. It is pleasantly surprising that there are no drunk people on the streets even on weekend evenings and that homeless people are extremely rare. This list can be continued for a long time.


Of course, some will cope with the circumstances more easily, while others will face culture shock. With the help of informational and moral preparation, as well as openness and readiness for change, you can overcome it and get comfortable in a foreign culture.

Don't forget, culture shock is a natural process of adapting to new conditions and will help you become a more open and understanding person.

Video: @oh_baby_its_uk

How does the adaptation process work?

Adaptation is the first and basic stage after a sudden change of environment, in which a person adapts to a new situation. The speed of completing this path depends on internal flexibility and willingness to learn. And literally everything has to be learned: even simple actions can turn into complex tasks that require much more time, emotional and intellectual stress.

Oksana Korzun’s book “How to move to another country and not die of homesickness” describes four phases of the adaptation process:

  1. Tourist - one feels delight, euphoria, everything new gives dopamine.
  2. Disappointment - problems and difficulties, negativity, apathy begin.
  3. Recovery – dealing with problems, conclusions, light at the end of the tunnel.
  4. Biculturalism is a full-fledged feeling of being part of society.

You need to understand that you won’t be able to move straight to the last phase, but you can reduce the time you spend in each of them.

Photo: Kovalev Rodion

Ways to speed up the adaptation process of an immigrant in Armenia

  • Determine the reason for immigration

Before moving, formulate why you want to live in Armenia, what attracts you to this country. Write it down and re-read it in moments of apathy;

  • Network with locals

Make friends, meet your neighbors, sign up for courses or master classes. In a word, socialize. To help with this process, we have material that contains more 140 useful channels from different spheres in Telegram;

  •  Be proactive

Decide to integrate into the new country at all costs. Constant movement helps the fastest. Our website will help you understand where to start. FAQ section;

  • Consciously be positive

Look forward to future events and adventures. Remember: everyone goes through a difficult adaptation process. Don’t fall into melancholy and attend cultural events, of which there are plenty here. Yerevan is a popular destination among the stars. For example, Mumiy Troll and Basta have already arrived; Valery Meladze and Snoop Dogg are brought here.

You can find the event poster in our blog, Telegram or application on Android. It’s convenient to find out information about the party schedule and buy tickets on the following websites: and

And on these sites, cultural life does not subside all year round:

  1. Letters and Numbers.
  2. Dom Yerevan.
  3. Common Ground Books & Spirits.
  4. Triglinki;
  • Study the history of Armenia

This will not only broaden your horizons and build a bunch of new neural connections, but will also force you to leave the house more often. For example, to museums. If you don’t know where they are and what they are called, then read our article about top 20 Armenian museums and galleries. Their ticket prices are reasonable, and almost everyone offers either a guide or headphones with an audio narration. You can also come and listen to lectures at various coworking spaces. They are often held for free or for a donation. We, of course, recommend history lectures and trips to museums with Move2Armenia Culture.

You can go not only to museums, but also on various excursions. Armenians are great patriots of their country and have a wealth of experience communicating with tourists. Just say a word and you will be given a week-long excursion throughout Armenia. During this time, you will not only learn a lot of new things, but also eat shish kebab, get drunk on tarragon, and most importantly, make new friends. We have posted a list of time-tested and people-tested guides in our directory. These comrades also get good reviews:

  1. Yerevan_online.
  2. Yerevan through the eyes of an engineer.
  3. Yerevan is walking.
  4. Unusual Travel Bureau.
  • Don't be afraid to seek advice and help (even professional help) in difficult situations

Sometimes it is better to discuss what is happening with a psychologist. We gathered specialists with good customer reviews in directory.

Some specialists maintain their channels on Telegram:

  1.   Relocation with a psychotherapist.
  2.   About psychiatry - simple and clear.

We ourselves at Move2Armenia do not hesitate to meet with relevant specialists. Recently we invited psychologists, relocants and discussed the sore point without equivocation. We share advice from psychologists from a meeting in Instagram.

Moreover, a similar format of public talk is held at various venues in Yerevan. Among them:

  1.   Letters and Numbers.
  2.   Dom Erevan.
  • Don't compare the new and old countries;
  • Be realistic about emigration. Don't expect that changing your location will magically solve your problems;
  • Get rid of people who judge you. Remove anyone who sows doubts in you about your choice of life in Armenia from your inner circle;
  • Learn a language

Without knowing the language, you will never feel at home in a new country, you will not find the desired society, and it will be more difficult for you to find a job. Regular language classes and practice are a necessity when moving.

This article will introduce you to basic phrases of the Armenian language, and this material will help you learn numbers and navigate local markets more easily. We also recommend signing up for a conversation club on an already announced platform. Letters and Numbers. And come to the free express courses of Armenian from Move2Armenia Culture.


Almost everyone who, for some reason, was forced to fly out of their nest goes through culture shock. The best medicine to mitigate this condition is informational and moral preparation. The deeper you immerse yourself in Armenian history, traditions and cultural code, the easier it will be to integrate into the local society.

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