Did you know that the feeling of disorientation, insecurity, and anxiety is a common phenomenon that often affects travelers and people adjusting to a new country? It is called “culture shock” and is often related to living abroad for an extended period of time. However, if you slightly modify your lifestyle and get ready to compromise, the process of adaptation could become much more comfortable.
With our tips and tricks, you can find out how to cope with the anxiety of relocating overseas and develop meaningful relationships with the people around you.
How to Adjust to a New Country and Its Culture Quirks?
You’ve probably heard about other expats’ experiences in a foreign country and how they just embraced different cultures and adjusted to a strange environment smoothly? Theoretically, this is possible. In practice, it is rare. Facing a melting pot of different languages, traditions, and habits could significantly affect you as a newcomer. Fortunately, there are a few handy tips and tricks for overcoming post-moving depression. Nonetheless, anxiety attacks aren’t a regular occurrence, while sadness and loneliness happen more often than you could imagine.
To overcome these ordinary, but tedious feelings, keep on reading and learn how to defeat homesickness and start living abroad without limits.
Research the Foreign Community Before Moving Overseas
Depending on the environment in which you’re planning to settle down, you can expect social norms slightly or more different from those in your homeland. The best solution for avoiding possible unpleasant situations is to become familiar with the standards of behavior.
The first stage of culture shock dubbed the “honeymoon,” is typical for frequent travelers. After the initial enthusiasm, you shouldn’t be surprised when painful moments of crisis arise. To mitigate them, you should face their symptoms and accept them. Then, when frustrations are defeated, recovery and adjustment is the next step.
These stages are necessary, and by experiencing them, you’ll become closer to the locals and their habits. Keep in mind that the final stage doesn’t mean the end of this ever-changing process. It means you are able to welcome a change any time and behave in harmony with it.
Create a Pleasant Home for Yourself
There’s no place like home. Nowhere is this truer than in a foreign country. Creating a cozy and familiar space could be a great support in the moments of despair. While looking for overseas moving services, think about packing your belongings, such as your favorite keepsakes, family heirlooms, and some little things – your beloved pillow or blanket – they can do wonders in your new home.
Meeting people could be as easy as counting to three. You just need to know what to do and where to go. Start with your neighborhood by asking simple questions about the best shops, restaurants, cafes, and parks. Also, inviting them to dinner could be one step further in your socialization.
Spend several days exploring your district and start friendly conversations with locals. You can take with you a notebook and jot down all the interesting facts about your new neighborhood. Writing down your impressions is also a good idea since it can help you with the most critical issues regarding your move.
While sightseeing, don’t be afraid to speak the local language, even if your knowledge is modest. Try, and people will realize that you’re a newcomer. Their warm welcome will be the best feedback to your friendly approach. How to make friends when moving abroad isn’t such a scary question as it might seem at first sight.
Join Local Clubs and Expat Community
To keep culture shock on a tight leash, you should build friendships. That can be achieved by finding local clubs and organizations gathering like-minded people. Also, the chances are that your future home probably has an expat community, and you may consider joining it in case your feelings about relocation are still strong. Sometimes, however, linking with other expats with similar habits, ways of communication, and mindset could be a stumbling block. Introduction to expat communities can prevent you from fully embracing all the novelties around you. It’s up to you to decide whether you want to have a strong bond with people from your old life, or you intend to broaden your horizons and accept other customs, too.
Explore Your Surroundings
Getting out of your comfort zone is the first move forward. That doesn’t mean you should just stroll the streets discovering great dining spots. It means finding out more information about cultural sites, events, and activities that could become your prospective hobby or regular occupation during the weekends. These things can help you achieve one more goal – to adjust your routine. Having a routine in your new surroundings is probably the best thing you can do for a happy lifestyle.
Difficulties in Communication Shouldn’t Discourage You
Are you afraid of the language barrier? Although it’s one of the main problems of all expats, you should overcome your fear. Breaking the language barrier is possible if you know that making mistakes is not a fatal flaw. That should give you additional drive and support. However, moving into an unfamiliar environment and not knowing the basics, like “hello” or “thank you” could be frustrating. Learning a new language, even just the bare essentials, before relocation and upon arrival can help your improvement. One more useful solution is to take a course. In addition to upgrading your communication skills, you’ll have a chance to meet other foreigners and share mutual experiences and impressions about living abroad.
Become a Language Teacher
Why not take advantage of your knowledge and unfamiliar surroundings? You may find a local community center that needs a teacher of English. There’s no better way to stay in touch with your native country’s history, its traditions, and the peculiarities of your native language, than teaching it to foreigners.
Consider Newcomers’ Testimonials Related to Your Environment
When moving to another country, there are plenty of online programs and welcome centers that can provide you with handy tips and tricks about your recent home. Some of the most helpful words of advice you can find on these websites are based on other newcomers’ reviews and testimonials. Information about settlement services, how to find a new job after relocation, as well as communication instructions – is a cure-all.
What Are the Most Crucial Topics When It Comes to Adapting to Life in a New Country?
Besides foreigners’ impressions and experiences about a strange land, there are always additional tools you can rely on. Whether you prefer e-books or like them in paper form, think about several essential questions and topics and find the right answers to them. This could be done before moving, but it will have a positive effect even if you do that during your first months abroad. To mitigate your adjustment process, consider these topics and questions, and try to give a satisfactory answer to them:
- Define culture and its development
- What are the cultural similarities
- Think about nationalism and culture
- Clarify culture, gender, and gender roles
- What’s the importance of languages and cultures
- Cultures and laws abroad
- The importance of advertisements and cultures
- Consider culture, morals, and ethics
- What is your opinion on the assimilation of people in a foreign culture
- Is it necessary to preserve cultural diversity