How to Live on Your Own in a Foreign Country - I Love Moving

How to Live on Your Own in a Foreign Country – A Guide to Adjusting

Posted How-to / June 23, 2022
Lucy Lucas

Born and raised in Miami Lucy is a content writer with a love of moving and packing. She is an expert at making sure everything fits into her suitcase.

Moving internationally to start an independent life requires courage, and it is natural that you are experiencing a certain degree of anxiety. However, take comfort in the fact that many people before you have already been in this situation, and you can learn how to live on your own from past experiences.

Can I survive living on my own? The answer is, undoubtedly, yes. However, don’t be fooled. Moving abroad on your own is by no means a child’s play. Above all, you have to be mentally prepared, but there will be other challenges to overcome as well, especially with regard to finances. Therefore, it is important to do prior research and embark on this new journey prepared.

How to Live on Your Own? Start by Doing Research on the New Country

When moving overseas for the first time, you’re going to have a lot of questions. After all, you’re going to leave your comfort zone and go to a completely unfamiliar environment with a different culture. Luckily, nowadays, you can equip yourself with invaluable knowledge just by using the internet. You can also try to contact an expat community and ask them about anything that interests you.

You Can Ease Culture Shock by Learning About the Culture Before Relocation

People are often afraid when they hear the term “culture shock,” and certainly, it can pose certain difficulties while settling into a new environment. However, nothing stops you from dedicating a little time to start learning a different language in order to break that initial cultural barrier more quickly. For starters, knowing just the basic vocabulary can mean a lot, and there are many great tips for learning a language that you can get for free on the internet.

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Is It Hard to Live on Your Own Financially? This Is the Main Issue for Most People

How much money do I need to live on my own? After hiring an international moving company and their packing services, you’ll probably ask yourself this question. The only way to come up with the right answer is to sit down and consider your financial situation and all potential sources of expenses before relocating abroad. Here is what to consider:

  • How much does it cost to live on your own? Relocating across the world only to find yourself barely making your ends meet at the end of the month is not the situation you want to be in. The internet comes to the rescue again, and you can easily calculate the cost of living on websites like Numbeo.
  • Can my financial situation support the relocation? Relocation is a process that requires a certain amount of investment. You’ll need to acquire documents to travel abroad, hire an overseas shipping company, buy flight tickets, and such. It is best to feel financially comfortable from day one of adjusting to a foreign country.
  • Do I have a plan for emergencies? Hopefully, this won’t be needed, but it’s wise to have a contingency plan, especially if you are relocating without a job. Therefore, you should be certain that in case of an emergency, living-on-your-own expenses won’t be too overwhelming.

I’m Relocating Without a Job. How Can I Live on My Own With No Money?

It’s not unusual for people to relocate without a job. However, you have to start looking for a job as soon as you decide to move. Theoretically, you can manage comfortably for some time just with your savings, but that source will quickly become depleted. People often get miserable because they cannot find a job in their field of expertise, but don’t let that discourage you. There are many great bridge jobs available abroad, and it is not the end of the world to do something else while waiting for the right opportunity. Nonetheless, put “search for a job” at the top of your relocation checklist. Here is a useful video on how to start searching for a job in a foreign country.

What Is the Cheapest Way to Live By Yourself? There Are Many Ways to Save Money

How much money do you need to have a comfortable life when relocating on a low budget? If, at the moment, you have certain financial restrictions, there are many ways to limit your expenses. Here are some tips that can help you with balancing your budget.

Suitable rent

Find a modest apartment in the beginning. Rent will have one of the biggest impacts on your budget, so there is nothing bad in searching for a smaller apartment until you reach a stable financial situation. You can also consider sharing an apartment with a roommate since the bills will be split.


Try to go on foot everywhere you can. If you are a car owner, you’ve certainly booked overseas auto transport from an overseas moving company, but don’t drive too much in the beginning if you don’t have to. The same applies to public transportation. Tickets and gas can affect your budget a lot.

Second-hand shops

When shipping overseas your possessions, it can often happen that a person forgets something or simply has made a mistake of not including it in the packing to move In this case, you should look for shops that sell used items. You’ll be able to save a lot of money and possibly get an item in perfect condition.


People these days spend a lot of money on internet subscriptions without even noticing. If you are subscribed to some online service or video game, definitely consider canceling everything until your budget can support all these luxuries.


Don’t go out too much to restaurants and bars. Of course, we are not suggesting to isolate yourself in your house, but try to limit yourself to exploring the environment in the beginning. There will be a lot of opportunities to visit local nightclubs and fancy restaurants, but the reality is that these places demand a lot of money.

Affordable stores

Get informed about where the cheapest grocery stores are. It’s definitely worth it to take a fifteen-minute walk to a cost-effective store. Moreover, this is a great way of meeting your neighbors since they will be the most reliable source of information. In the beginning, it is always best to try to prepare your own food and get the groceries from local flea markets and affordable shops.

Credit cards

Use your credit card carefully. Don’t forget that you have to pay back any debts that you might have incurred, and if you don’t pay them back on time, they will get bigger and bigger. Unfortunately, there are situations where people have to give up their entire monthly salary in order to cover credit card debts. Therefore, always be sure that you can cover any potential debts before purchasing anything. One of the best tips when it comes to credit cards is to always have a credit balance that is at least 30 percent below the limit.

From Day One, Start Making Your Own Decisions About Everything

How can I start to live on my own? Once the movers have unloaded all your boxes in your apartment, make your own decision about furnishing. Try to make your new home as comfortable as possible. Then according to your duties (whether you are attending university or working,) make your own schedule and include both your obligations and leisure time. This will immensely boost your confidence and provide a much-needed order in your life.

You Have to Leave Some Old Habits Behind and Accept the Fact That You Don’t Live With Your Parents Anymore

This is one of the toughest aspects of relocating abroad alone, but it is also the one that helps you grow as a person the most. Your parents won’t be beside you any more to help with important decisions, so self-reliability and confidence will have to be shown. The same applies to friends. However, know that you can always call your loved ones whenever you feel the need. Staying in touch with your friends and family is important, especially in the beginning when there will be a lot of anxiety and even regret possibly.

Your Favorite Possessions Can Help a Lot With the Adjustment to a Different Life

It is a good idea to include some things that have sentimental value in your relocation inventory list. Whether it is a lamp, armchair, or some collection of toys, it doesn’t matter. These items can provide a lot of comfort and help you overcome any potential relocation depression in the beginning since they can make the apartment feel like home much faster.

Be Open to Establishing Friendships, Don’t Isolate Yourself

Most of the countries in the world are friendly, and there will be plenty of opportunities to meet new people wherever you go. As mentioned above, start by meeting your neighbors, but there will be plenty of different individuals to meet, especially at your workplace or university. We understand that some people find this a bit more difficult than others, and if this is frightening to you, look at it as a chance to improve your social skills. Whether you are relocating to Greece or as close as the Bahamas, you’re bound to find kindred spirits.

It Doesn’t Matter Where You Relocate, Continue Pursuing Your Interests and Be Open to Different Hobbies

There are many great places to relocate abroad, and you’ll definitely be able to continue with your hobby wherever you choose to relocate. Therefore, don’t hesitate to join a dance class, gym, or book club if that interests you. Hobbies are a great way to meet people as well. But also be open to different things. You’ll meet different individuals with different interests, and starting to practice something unknown is a great way to assimilate yourself into a foreign environment.

Start Exploring the City as Soon as You Arrive

The quicker you familiarize yourself with the environment, the sooner you will feel at home. It doesn’t matter whether you are relocating to a small or big city. Start by exploring your neighborhood. Find out where all the needed institutions and amenities are and what are the most efficient ways to reach them. It is a good idea to sit in your car or some public transportations and spend a day driving around the town. In this way, you will get to know everything quickly.

Living Overseas Is Challenging in the Beginning, but It Is Definitely Worth It

There are many benefits of relocating abroad, but in order to start feeling these benefits, you will have to go through a challenging period of adaptation. Some people cope with it easily, some don’t, but whatever the challenges might be, always keep in mind that you will come out as a better person. What is more, consider this viewpoint. You’ll join a very small group of people who have had the chance to spend a portion of their lives in a different culture, which is truly a privilege.

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