When moving abroad, finding your feet at the new workplace, making a home, coping with the unfamiliar life abroad and making new friends are challenging tasks. At the same time, curiosity about the host country, homesickness, stress, and many new impressions make for a rollercoaster of emotions.
Moving abroad is no small matter. Even with the best preparation and some helpful support from a professional relocation agency, you won’t be able to avoid stumbling blocks altogether. Every move abroad has its challenges, which you will ultimately have to overcome yourself.
Here are 3 strategies to make moving abroad smoother:
1 – Accept The Cultural Differences
There are going to be cultural differences, lots of them! Acceptance of this fact is key to your future well-being. Try not to constantly evaluate your new impressions and experiences as being “good” or “bad” but accept that many things are done “differently”.
A genuine interest in the host country, its history and its people will also help you to understand everything better. The more you know about the cultural background, the more you can avoid harsh judgements.
Set out to discover your new environment. But do not overexert yourself. You need rest periods to process what is different and why it might disturb you. Find the right balance between exploration and retreat.
2 – Create A Home
Whether you move into a furnished flat or take all your belongings when moving abroad: Even if your time abroad is limited, you should create a home where you feel comfortable. Your home should serve as a haven in a foreign environment.
Also, try to give your life structure as soon as possible after your arrival. Daily routines at home provide stability and a feeling of mastering your new life abroad. Make a conscious effort to maintain a healthy lifestyle during this time: Eat regularly, get enough sleep, exercise.
However, resist the temptation to set up everything perfectly in just a few days after moving abroad. Instead, always take time for fun activities to give you a positive feeling about your new place in the world.
3 – Make New Friends
Anyone who has ever experienced moving abroad more than once knows that new friends don’t just appear on your doorstep. But the sooner you make an effort to establish new contacts, the sooner you will feel at home in your host country.
Therefore, join a club or start a new hobby as soon as possible to meet new people. And don’t wait until your flat is fully furnished but invite new acquaintances as quickly as possible into your new home. This can be daunting after meeting new people but inviting someone into your home is perceived as friendly in most countries.
Why not try to learn a bit of the local language? With language skills, you will feel more confident in everyday life and gain easier access to people and activities. In addition, a class with other foreigners and a local teacher will help you make new friends quicker.
Most expatriates report that it took them well over a year after moving abroad to feel entirely at ease in the host country. Of course, there are individual differences, and the actual “low” as part of the well-known culture shock might reach you sooner or later. But it always takes some patience to make a life abroad. So enjoy the process and appreciate what your new country has to offer!
- Try not to constantly evaluate your new impressions and experiences as being “good” or “bad” but accept that many things are done “differently”.
- Whether you move into a furnished flat or take all your belongings when moving abroad: Your home should serve as a haven in a foreign environment.
- Join a club, learn the language, and invite new people to your home: Making new friends is not easy but essential for your well-being abroad.