Tips When Starting Out in a New Country – Feel at Home Abroad Sooner16 Nov 2021
It often takes around 2 years to feel at home in your new life abroad fully. Moving to a new country usually sees people move through four phases of culture shock: honeymoon, frustration, adjustment, and acceptance. Everyone experiences these stages differently and the time spent in each stage and even the order of each stage varies, understanding the process and knowing what to expect can help transition smoothly and quickly. Take a look through our tips below to help you navigate culture shock and start feeling at home abroad sooner.
- Make your home an oasis. If you haven’t found long-term accommodation yet, make that your number one priority. Having somewhere to call home and where you can relax and recharge your batteries is vitally important in feeling at home abroad.
- Be curious and open-minded. Learning about the differences around you will help you to appreciate there isn’t right and wrong, better or worse, when it comes to culture, only difference. You will also get a far better response from locals when you show a genuine interest in their culture.
- Study the local language and culture. The more you can learn, the less stress you’ll experience from not communicating effectively, understanding what’s going on around you, and experiencing feelings of isolation or dependency on others.
- Pursue hobbies and interests that might lead to creating new friendships. As you build your circle of friends and social support, you’ll have a far greater sense of belonging in your new home. When pursuing personal interests, you are far more likely to connect with like-minded people and form stronger connections than you might do.
- Stay in touch with old friends and family. Having regular contact can help alleviate homesickness, help you develop ideas or plans, play an essential role in protecting against mental illness, and increase mental well-being.
- Set yourself goals for your time abroad. This helps to feel a sense of achievement and focus when you’re feeling ungrounded or lost. Common expat goals include: learning a new skill, starting a new hobby, volunteering for a cause, and planning for your future. Think about what is important to you and what motivates you. Review your goals, and don’t hesitate to adjust them as time goes on.
If you found this article interesting, you might also be interested in taking a look at The Best Souvenirs to Remember Your Expat Experience; Learn From My Shipping Mistakes (So You Don’t Make Them Too), Set Yourself Up For A Successful Expat Experience, and Expat Life – Moving Abroad During Covid-19.