Moving abroad is no easy feat. There are so many things to do before you can arrive in your new home country – from visas, to plane tickets, to selling property and cars . . . it can be a lot. That’s why many people feel relieved when they finally arrive; they think the hardest part is over.
While it is true that all of the complicated things are likely out of your way now that you’re finally abroad, your new life is only just starting. As with any changes in life, it’s going to take some adjusting. From American expats abroad to people moving overseas for their studies, everyone living abroad will be able to find some useful tips in this post.
Take a break
I know, I know. We’ve just spoken about how there’s so much to adjust to in a new country, so how are you expected to get any rest? The truth is that once you arrive abroad, you’ll likely feel overwhelmed, and maybe even jetlagged if the time zone is different from your previous home. And while it is true that there’s likely a lot you need to get done, it can wait a day or two.
Take some time to deal with the physical and emotional impact of moving abroad before you attempt to get into the full swing of things.
Find a place to call home
You can’t live in a hotel forever. Eventually, you’re going to need a slightly more permanent residence. This can mean living with family, renting a place, or buying one. But finding a place to call home doesn’t only refer to where you’ll be living.
Getting someplace to stay is only the first step: you need to make it go from a house to a home. This will instantly make you feel more settled. Even something as simple as having a blanket from home or a few photos will do the trick.
Get your job or school sorted
Most people move abroad with the intention of either working or studying there. Hopefully, you have a few days or weeks between when you arrive and when you need to get started.
This should give you enough time to prepare and get your things in order, or to start looking at educational institutes or jobs if you haven’t already got one lined up. If you’re looking for a job, be sure to make a good impression at your interview.
People need people. Even if you’re an introvert or not really the social type, getting to know some new people is sure to be the easiest way for you get accustomed to your new home. By making friends, or even just acquaintances, you’re sure to learn the culture and area much quicker than if you were on your own.
It will also help you feel less alone, especially if you had to leave your family and friends behind and are struggling with it. Most of us make friends when we’re still young, so if you’re a bit nervous about making friends as an adult, you can get some tips here.
Getting to know a new city can be a daunting task, never mind a whole new country! It might be very tempting for you to stay at home most of the time and only go out when you need to, like for work or groceries. But the only way you’ll get to know your new area is by jumping in headfirst and exploring it.
You’ll soon learn which roads are the busiest, which bookstore has the best deals, and which brunch spot has all of your favorites.
Learn a new language
If you can’t speak the language that is predominantly spoken in your new country, that can lead to barriers and miscommunications. There’s no need to rush out and buy the most in depth language guide you can find, but try to learn at least the basics, like “thank you”, or “bathroom”.
You can even set yourself a goal of learning one new word per day. While this isn’t necessary, it may make life more convenient for you. There are loads of resources out there to help you learn a new language.
You’ll soon learn that no matter how similar the new country and culture is to your previous one, there will always be things you’re not used to or understand. You’ll also soon learn that the easiest way to overcome this obstacle, is by asking people for help.
If you’re lost, if you’re not sure what something means, if you’re unsure of the social etiquette in a certain situation – ask someone! They’ll likely appreciate you taking the time to ask and me more than willing to help, especially if you explain the situation to them.