Moving to a new country can present a few unique challenges – including a number of cultural shocks, as revealed by a new thread on Reddit.

Contributors to the thread have been sharing their experiences moving abroad – in particular, the differences they never expected, from the huge variety of toothpaste in the US, to unisex nudity in the sauna in Germany and the "awful" housing found in New Zealand.

Writing on her move from the UK to New Zealand, Redditor 'old_cat_spinster' described Kiwis as "super friendly – like even more friendly than Northerners".

Originally from London, they said it took them a while to "get used to people wanting to talk to me" and also found New Zealanders to be "super chilled but really hardcore".

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"If they say it's a hill- it's a mountain. If they say it's a short hike it's at least five hours," they wrote.

They also said working conditions were much better than in their home country.

"I temped for a while before finding my current job and in every role I've been given generous pay, a lot of responsibility and good hours. No one is expected to do overtime and there is a lot more public holidays and time off over Christmas."

However, 'old_cat_spinster' didn't have anything good to say about our housing conditions.

"The housing here is awful," they wrote. "Detached wooden houses with no heating, no insulation and no double glazing. When we first arrived everyone laughed at us for asking where the radiators were."

Another commenter chimed in to say, "You forgot barefoot people everywhere!"

Upon moving to the US, South African '748point2' found their biggest culture shock in the toothpaste aisle of the supermarket.

A South African who moved to the US was shocked by the selection of toothpaste. Photo / Getty Images
A South African who moved to the US was shocked by the selection of toothpaste. Photo / Getty Images

"There are so many more options for what basically boil down to the exact same thing," they wrote on Reddit.

"The one that really got me was the toothpaste - there was an entire freaking wall of variations on mint toothpaste. I had a panic attack the first time I went to a store by myself."

A Mexican commenter, 'MorosEscritoras' was shocked by the lack of physical touching in the US.

"'In Mexican culture, it's normal to hug and air kiss classmates and co-workers, even people you're just meeting," he wrote.

"After a while in the US, I got used to keeping a distance with everyone, not touching anyone, not sharing food, etc.

"Then I went back to work in Mexico for a few months and I remembered how normal it is for people to invade your personal space without any hesitation, or just touch you without consent. It threw me off."

An American who lived in both Japan and Germany found herself shocked by the "chillness with nudity".

"In Japan I went to my first sauna and it was hard getting naked in front of everyone, even though it was all same-sex," she wrote. "So many hang-ups over nudity in the States, but all the Japanese women were so relaxed about it that it put me at ease."

She found a new shock in Germany – unisex nude saunas.

"Couldn't fathom going with male friends to sauna and it not being weird, though I had friends who all went together sometimes. I never managed to do it.

"But I did my first naked swim at a lake this summer with a friend of the opposite sex (he was gay which made it easier). Never thought I could do it, and it was really liberating. There were sooo many people there, old & young, men & women, and we were all nekkid together."

A commenter from the Philippines who moved to France found the stereotype of French people being "cold or rude" to be the opposite.

"I knew the bisous (the double cheek kiss) is a common practice, but I didn't realize how much of a chore it is on a big scale," they wrote. "Like you have to do it to EVERYONE if you arrive a bit late at a party. And even with colleagues you see every.single.day."

A person from the Philippines living in France found the double cheek kiss greeting to be
A person from the Philippines living in France found the double cheek kiss greeting to be "a big chore". Photo / Getty Images

Reddit user 'preworkoutandsteak' moved from the US to South Korea and quickly noticed a difference on the streets.

"There's no billboards. Anywhere," they wrote. "There's a severe lack of advertisement for anything except for the random trucks that drive down the road blasting announcements for grand openings on occasion.

"And all of the stray cats. There are so many cats."

Reddit user 'preworkoutandsteak' discovered there were a lot of stray cats in South Korea. Photo / Getty Images
Reddit user 'preworkoutandsteak' discovered there were a lot of stray cats in South Korea. Photo / Getty Images

For 'KingCarnivore', living in Russia provided many culture shocks, from "casual misogyny and racism" to extreme superstitions and a lack of spicy food.

"Russians are VERY superstitious. You can't sit on concrete or your ovaries will freeze. Can't whistle in your house or you'll become poor. Can't pass any object over a threshold, etc.

"You can't get anything even remotely spicy (maybe you can in Moscow but I didn't live there). Jalapenos were $30 a kilo. When I went to a Chinese restaurant and asked that my dish be made spicy they just put a ton of black pepper on it."