Moving overseas can be very exciting, but it can also be very stressful. Buying a one-way ticket to a foreign land is liberating but it’s also fraught with its own unique challenges. Those who have done it probably wish they had some insights before making the transition. Consider yourself lucky.
The Top 4 Tips for Moving Overseas
To make the most of your move, pay close attention to the following tips.
1. Give Yourself Some Time
Life as you know it is bound to change once you move abroad. Integration into a new country or community will not happen on its own, but it won’t happen overnight either. Be patient and expect to spend the first three to six months simply observing the culture as a newcomer.
TRICK: Download a bunch of movies or electronic books before your departure so you have plenty to do in the meantime.
2. Keep an Open Mind
You’ll be introduced to new customs, new foods, new people, and new experiences when you move overseas, so be ready with an open heart and mind. Try to get accustomed to the notion that you’ll often find yourself outside your comfort zone. After a while, however, things will begin to feel normal again.
TRICK: Talk to locals about favourite hangout spots and recipes. Try some of the recipes at home before venturing out in public.
3. Learn the Language
Yes, learning a new language is hard, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Although it may take some time, immersing yourself in the culture and having frequent conversations with people can help you pick up the nuances of a language more quickly. Practice makes perfect and remember: locals are usually more enthusiastic to talk to someone new if they speak the native tongue.
TRICK: Pick up a few language learning tools and explore them before you leave home.
4. Find Out What’s Missing
Before moving overseas, be sure to figure out what lifestyle adjustments you’ll have to make. Will you be able to fill your prescription? Will your electronics still function properly? Do any vendors sell your favourite food? To keep the culture shock to a minimum, prepare for these changes ahead of time.
• Pack light
• Make friends with people in your neighbourhood
• Research your neighbourhood and home before you arrive
• Get ready to laugh at yourself for making silly mistakes
• Visit places outside the city