When people move overseas, they are often excited. They may be taking a job they love or getting to live in a culture they adore. However, moving abroad usually means making some major changes.
These can affect everyday life, holidays, expectations, and more. Here are some things that people who want to live abroad should consider. Read on to learn how to make the transition to a new culture easier.
One of the biggest things that people who move overseas can expect is change. Even if they are moving to a country similar to theirs, some things will be different.
They may be surprised to find out how much is different and overwhelmed by that difference. When people moving abroad expect change, they can start to prepare for it before they go. They can also put support in place so they will have help after they move.
“Culture” encompasses a huge number of things, from aspects of everyday life to how, when, and where special occasions are celebrated. The aspects of culture mentioned here are some of the ones that people who move abroad most frequently struggle with.
Food is a huge aspect of culture that will be different in a different country. It’s not just about what people eat but also when, how, and where they get their food. In some places, meals are served at set times.
How, when, and where to show respect is another aspect of culture that is different in different countries. Respect is very important in some cultures and much less so in others. In some countries, it might be important to show respect to elders.
How people make friends and how friends act with one another is also an aspect of culture. Trying to make friends with the wrong person or in the wrong manner can be a cultural problem.
Finally, different cultures celebrate different holidays or may celebrate the same holiday differently. This can be confusing for people when they transition to life elsewhere.
There are a huge number of holidays celebrated around the world in relation to the winter solstice. Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and Diwali are only a few of these.
Holidays can also be different around the world. Many cultures celebrate Christmas, for instance, but there is a wide variety among the different traditions.
Language differences can represent a major change for many people who move overseas. Even people who move to a country that speaks the same language they speak at home may find some major differences. This can cause unexpected communication problems.
Moving to a new country with a different language can cause more language problems. People may not be able to communicate or find themselves unable to communicate well.
It can leave them feeling frustrated and alone if they cannot get their point across. There may be people available who speak both languages, apps that can help with translation, and more.
Many people who move overseas find that the lifestyle is different in their new country. There are many aspects of lifestyle that can be different in different places. One common change has to do with time.
In some cultures, things like being on time and using time wisely are highly valued. In others, time is much more flexible.
Meals are another aspect of lifestyle that can be different in different places. How, when, for how long, and where people eat can change. In some places, meals are events that last a long time. In other locations, meals are usually short and to the point.
All of these can combine to make eating in a new country feel like a major change.
Different countries prioritize different religions. This can represent a major change even for nonreligious people. It can also be a major change to move from a country where the person’s religion is not prioritized to one where it is, or vice versa.
All of this can represent major changes for people living abroad. It can be disorienting and make it difficult for them to feel at home or like they belong in their new home.
Hearing about all of these possible changes can make a living abroad feel overwhelming. However, there are some easy things that people can do to make them easier.
Most of these involve gaining knowledge and setting up a support system for processing the changes. Together, these two things make change much less daunting.
One major step that people planning to move abroad can take is to study their new country before they move there. That way, they will at least begin to become aware of what is going to change.
People can read books about their new country or those written by authors from the country. They can also look online for accounts of others who have made the same transition.
They should also seek out people who have lived in the country and talk to them directly. This may be the best way to get updated information about the changes they can expect.
People who plan to move overseas should fit in as much study as they can before they go. This will prepare them for the changes that are coming their way.
Once they move, people living overseas should try to find other expats, especially those from their home country. These people are positioned to help them make their transition easier. These groups can usually be found online, through hostels, or even through government entities overseas.
People who move overseas should expect to make mistakes. They will get cultural things wrong and probably even offend people before they figure out their new culture. When they don’t expect this, these mistakes can feel incredibly isolating and painful.
When people expect to make mistakes, they can apologize and explain themselves when it happens. Making mistakes helps people learn about the country they live in.
Exploring their new city and/or country can make a person feel more at home there. When they have a favorite restaurant in different parts of the city, for instance, they feel like they belong.
It takes courage to get out of the house and do this kind of exploration. However, summoning the courage to get out there any way can make a huge difference to many people who live abroad.
Moving abroad can be difficult. Seeing a therapist can help people experiencing culture shock. It can help them come to terms with the cost of living in the new country. This can lead to an improved overall feeling.
Therapists can help people process their mistakes in a way that is empowering. It can also help them in the long term to find the courage to keep going.
One of the things that helps people process change is for them to fall in love with their new country. They can learn to love the local language, architecture, religion, nature, and more!
Others may choose to take hikes, go sightseeing, or get to know local families in the foreign country. All of these actions can lead to falling in love with the place where they’ve chosen to live.
Moving overseas can be stressful because of all the changes that such a move involves. However, people can overcome those changes, find a job and make a home when living abroad.