Best Tips for Smooth Adjusting to a New Country and Culture

Posted Country Guides / January 22, 2020
Anastasia Hill

Apart from being the next fashion icon, Anastasia is also a freelance writer and expert on moving (and packing clothes).

Most people move abroad for love or money. About 24% of the US population decides to live somewhere else to pursue a romantic relationship. Whatever your reason to go overseas is, the main question concerns adjusting to a new country. Living abroad is undoubtedly one of the greatest opportunities to experience diverse environments and cultures, meet people worldwide, learn an unknown language and strange customs. But, how to adjust to a foreign society?

When relocating across the world, you’ll be dealing with tons of different questions, such as what are the challenges when you relocate to another country, why is moving to a new country hard, or how do you cope living in a new country. No matter how exciting starting from scratch is, adapting to a different way of life is not always easy. Yet, it’s part of the fun adventure called a life-changing experience. It’s useful to know that moving overseas requires patience and some time to understand the stages of cultural adjustment and develop strategies to immerse into a foreign lifestyle.

So, if wondering how to move to another country, don’t worry – we can help. Even more, we’ll provide you with excellent tips on how to live in a foreign land, no matter if you’re moving to Canada or relocating to Sweden from the US.         

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Will Moving Abroad Make Me Happy? Embrace Little Quirks and Feel at Home

According to AXA – Global Healthcare research, 67% of people who decided to make the leap found this event positive and fulfilling. Whether you’re relocating to another region for love, looking for job opportunities for Americans in Europe, or just seeking the best places to live abroad with family, one thing is sure – the outlook will be encouraging.

Every relocation is a challenge and it is an entrance into the unknown. Simply put, it makes you step out of your comfort zone and encounter unpleasant relocation stress. It’s said that leaving your family and friends for good and starting with a clean slate is one of the most stressful things in a person’s life, especially if you’re planning to live on a different continent.

While relocating by itself can be an enriching and exciting event, for many it comes with its own specific challenges. That being said, if you’re in search of the friendliest countries in the world or some of the best European countries to live in, know that you’ll be on an emotional roller coaster. You might feel stressed, bored, isolated, angry, or even lethargic, but luckily, there is a great tip to help you cope with these feelings – make sure to plan ahead, which means:

Is Adjusting to a New Country Hard When You’re an Expat?

Dealing with an adjustment period known as “culture shock” is a common thing among expats. If you want to understand this occurrence, you should be familiar with its phases:

  • Honeymoon phase,
  • Negotiation phase,
  • Adjustment period,
  • Reverse culture shock.

During these stages, expatriates undergo excitement and happiness at the beginning (honeymoon period), then comes homesickness, communication barriers, going through stereotypes, and facing frustrations (negotiation phase). Finally, they will face adjustment due to their daily routine and be able to communicate more freely with the locals. Sometimes, when expats decide to return to their homeland after many years, they experience a similar challenge – fitting in a strange environment, known as reverse culture shock.

If these stages sound pretty dramatic to you, don’t lose hope in a successful international move. Understand them as a natural response to living somewhere else – they will probably happen to you at some moment, no matter if you’re searching for the best places to retire in Europe or looking for the best cities to live in the Old Continent. You shouldn’t fight these feelings but develop goals for adjusting to a new country in order to mitigate homesickness and sadness.

How You Are Adjusting to Life in a New Country?

Six to 12 months after arriving in a foreign land, expats usually start to grow accustomed to their unknown environment and know what to expect from their surroundings. Feeling the change is a natural process and you should embrace it instead of resisting it. By doing that, you will let it get the best of you. Whether you’re relocating with kids or starting to work in Europe as an American, getting adjusted begins with an inclination toward the experience and making the most of it.

Your New Home Should Look Familiar and Comfortable

Adjusting to life in a new country starts with settling into your home and making it cozy, warm, and inviting. After unpacking, you’ll face piles of boxes and packing supplies and might feel tired and sleepy. Get rest that first night and start arranging your place to your liking the next day You’ve probably brought some favorite tidbits and keepsakes from your old home, such as pillows, photos, small rugs, lamps, and a coffee mug. Make sure to furnish one corner according to your preferences – it should be a room where you spend most of your days. Also, you can purchase similar furniture to one you used to have or get some items to personalize your space even more.

An Expat Community Might Help You Cope With Initial Obstacles

Try to get in touch with expat communities as soon as you arrive at your destination. Meeting individuals with the same background might be very helpful if you feel lonely and helpless. Their experiences, words of advice, tips, and opinions will provide you with a broader picture of the current environment. Yet, be cautious when it comes to dealing with language, different mindsets, and building your resilience. It’s easy to slip into an isolated community and remain deprived of real experiences.

Learn Local Language

One of the most difficult challenges in a foreign land is dealing with the local language. People usually start learning it after getting there, realizing too late that breaking the language barrier requires time and patience. The good idea is to be familiar with tips for learning a new language from the moment you decide to relocate. For example, you can learn basics with a native teacher or visit some of the many online apps and sites to train your ears.

One of the Most Useful Tips – Explore the Surroundings

If adjusting to living in a new country is your primary goal, you should look for local spots of interest, such as local groceries, pubs, and coffee shops where locals go. Also, trying out the local cuisine and specialties might be one of the best ways to learn more about the native residents. If you’re on a plant-based diet and looking for some of the best vegan cities to visit and reside in, this tip might be your best bet. To hear the experience of someone who’s already done it, take a look at this video.

What Are Some of the Biggest Obstacles to Adjusting to Life in a New Country?

If you’re in search of the cheapest place to live in Canada or thinking about relocating to Finland, know one thing – you’ll come across some common problems after reaching your desired location. Luckily, if you speak with expats in the same situation, you will understand the root cause of the problem and overcome the obstacles a lot easier.

Moving Abroad Is a Trigger for Culture Shock

As we already mentioned, culture shock is a natural response to your strange environment. But, it affects everyone differently. To tackle this phenomenon more conveniently, learning about your future homeland can help a lot. That being said, customs and traditions are not the same in an Asian land as in European or African regions. If you learn what socially acceptable behavior is, you’ll feel more relaxed and settled.

Facing Financial Challenges Is a Common Problem

When relocating overseas, people become worried about their finances, especially if they need to find a home to live in or get a job in strange surroundings. There are some other challenges, like paying taxes, retirement accounts, benefits, health insurance, and more. Fortunately, individuals with experience are always generous. Ask expats or coworkers for fresh ideas, and make sure to research all these vital areas before hiring an international moving company and its packing services. Keep in mind that preparatory stages are the most demanding, so you should leave them to professionals, including overseas vehicle shipping. This way, you will have more time to organize your documents or do research about your future neighborhood and housing market.

Living Overseas and Fitting In – Is It Achievable?

If you’re concerned about fitting in, follow the most important tip – build a social life and be proactive. That said, if you want to feel accepted and useful, stick to these common threads in order to fit in as soon as possible:

  • Offer assistance with things in which you’re skilled,
  • Eat locally,
  • Become involved in the community,
  • Support others in the business,
  • Show interest in other people’s hobbies,
  • Ask for help.

What Are the Advantages of Living in Another Country and Experiencing a Different Lifestyle

If you’re still on the fence about relocating to Italy for work or moving to Ireland for study, you should find out the earth-shattering benefits of living overseas:

  • Stepping out of your comfort zone,
  • Gaining friendships with people worldwide,
  • Discovering more fascinating cultures and developing cultural awareness,
  • Living abroad might lead you to a successful career,
  • Understanding how to create a budget and stick to it,
  • Learning your patience and communication skills.

Make Your Life a Bit Easier and Hire Overseas Moving Company

Excitement is only one phase of going overseas. It often turns into backbreaking work and desperation, especially when the time comes to pack your belongings and organize shipping of your car overseas. These tasks are demanding, and after several days you’ll feel demotivated, tired, and exhausted. So, how to continue with your packing process smoothly and organized? Nothing easier if you decide to use the advantage of hiring an overseas shipping company and professional international movers. They will meet all your requirements – whether you need appropriate storage space to place your belongings or want to know how to deal with valuable and fragile items. Thanks to custom-designed wood crates, your heirlooms and pricey china will be secured and safe.

So, make your life easier with professional assistance and organize it according to your preferences. Instead of losing nerves while packing kitchen items, be creative and throw a relocation party or think of ways to keep in touch with friends. These activities will relieve you, and you will embark on an adventure called a fresh start with a smile on your face!

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