How did you manage to readjust (Eastern Europe-->US-->UK as an academic)?

I am an immigrant scientist currently running my research lab in the UK. I ended up here after immigrating from my home country in Eastern Europe to the US for my postdoctoral training before landing my current faculty position in the UK.

When I moved to the UK right during the pandemic last year, I found it hard to meet and bond with my new colleagues. I initially thought that the lockdown was one possible cause of my social struggles. However, now—when everything is largely back to normal—I still find it hard to fit into this culture. I just can't shake this feeling that I am different—my manner to express myself, my optimism, my loud voice, etc., etc. I feel like food with a spice that no one likes. Hence, whenever I try to join a circle of people, I have a feeling of silent rejection, a feeling that I do not belong.

What makes things harder is that I am among the very few immigrants in our department. Most of our faculty are Brits, with many being "raised" in this University, spending their entire career here, 10+ years, which means that most people have a long history of good relationships. This makes me feel excluded and lonely—like a party-pooper—while on the surface I am a successful and prolific scientist.

I would love to hear from people who were in a similar position about their experience and progression with their cultural fit. Did you manage to form healthy and strong bonds with your colleagues? What dit it take?

submitted by /u/mightymouse73242
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