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Adjusting to a New Country

Posted Moving Tips / April 25, 2018

Moving to another country and living abroad is among the biggest life changes you could have made. You should keep in mind that adjusting to a new country can take time and that you will experience a certain amount of cultural shock. This is especially the case when the native culture, language, and lifestyle are quite different from what you’re accustomed to. However, there are ways for you to prepare in advance and tips that can make the transition period go as smoothly as possible.

How Adjusting to a New Country Should Be Handled?

You will be surprised by how much relocating abroad can affect you and your family. No matter how connected you were to your previous home country, you’ll find that you will get homesick very soon. Right now, you will have to deal with that feeling, whether you are relocating because of a job or if traveling abroad was your lifelong dream. The best way to go about would be to embrace it and look at moving across the world as a positive and unique experience. Leave the packing and the relocation process to the professionals while you take the time to learn about your future home.

Make Your New Home Look Familiar

You should start the process of adjusting to the new country with small steps. The first one would be to get settled into your home by making it look as familiar as possible. Once you’re done with the whole unpacking process, set up all of the items in your house or apartment as they were in your old place. Focus on the one room in your home where you spend most of your days. You can hang up all of your favorite family photos and organize your living room furniture in the same way. Maybe you can go out shopping and personalize your space even more.

Socialize Through Volunteering and Other Related Activities

Volunteering for the community is one of the most common relocation tips for living abroad you will come across. This is a great way to get out and meet other people and get in touch with the local community. You can search online for places where you can volunteer or you could teach your native language at a local school.

Besides volunteering, you can search for clubs and groups for any of your hobbies, interests, and sports you may like. You’ll see that this is the best way to learn about the local lifestyle and culture from the very get-go.

Look for an Expat Community and Their Testimonials

Getting in touch with the expat community can be both helpful and damaging. It would be for the best to get their opinions, tips, and experiences about the city and the nation. On the other hand, it’s very easy to slip into a very isolationist state of mind. You will want to keep in touch with the people who share the same background, and won’t be as open to embracing the native culture. Expat communities can also be a good starting point if you’re having a hard time fitting in or finding any local groups to hang around with.

Learn the Language with a Native Teacher

Learning the local language should be at the top of your priorities from the moment you decide to move. You will find it useful when trying to fit in and in case you’re planning on working and living abroad, it will make landing a job much easier for you.

If you’re having trouble with learning a new language, there are some tips and tricks you could make use of. Various online sites and apps, like Duolingo, are a good starting point to get to know the basics. You can also find a local teacher, preferably one who speaks your native tongue and learn from them.

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Explore the Neighborhood

One of the most useful tips would be to go out and explore the city and your neighborhood whenever you are able to do so. Look for local points of interest and watch how the natives go about their everyday life. Find the closest grocery shops, coffee houses, and pubs where you could go out, barbers which you could try, and parks where you could spend a nice day out. In case you’re moving with pets overseas, you’ll want to find a vet for them, and look for dog parks if you’re moving with your dog.

Try out the Local Cuisine

One of the most popular ways to adjust to a different culture is to get used to the local cuisine. Getting used to the food, drinks, and delicacies of the locals is a perfect mix of experiencing something new and learning more about the native people. You can find recipes online and cook for your family if you’re relocating with kids for example, so that they too can get used to it.

Adjust by Getting to Know the Local Culture, Quirks and Related Topics

Long before the relocation day comes around, you should start researching the people and the customs and find guides on how to live abroad. Perhaps there are some peculiar quirks you should know about, maybe there are customs which you should be aware of before you start living there, and you could find tips on how to fit in. Whether you are moving by air or by sea, you will have the time to read articles, travel guides, and other resources about the local culture and lifestyle.

Moving to a New Country Means Adjusting to a Different Lifestyle

You will have to accept straight away that you may have to make some changes in your lifestyle. Perhaps you will be moving during the holidays because of a low budget, but this will be a perfect period to learn more about how those holidays are celebrated locally. This doesn’t mean that you should create another life when traveling to a different country, but be open to new and unique experiences that you might come across.

Michael Vaughan

Moving through the Bay Area, Michael works as a freelance writer in the moving and transportation industry.

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