Coping With Being An Expat In A New Country
For many people, the idea of relocating to a new country is an exciting and daunting prospect. This could be for work commitments, or simply for a lifestyle change. Regardless of whether you are relocating solo, or with your family, being an expat can also be challenging at times. With so much to take in, and lots of new experiences to come to terms with, it can sometimes seem impossible to keep up with it all. This handy guide offers some suggestions for coping with being an expat.
Missing Your Friends and Family
One of the most obvious challenges in moving to a new country is the fact that you will inevitably leave friends and family behind. This will have likely been a consideration you will have been aware of before deciding to move. However, this won’t make it any easier come moving day.
If you are struggling with homesickness and are missing loved ones, try and remember the reasons for why you relocated in the first place. New and exciting opportunities await you, and you can find ways to balance your new life and carve a new path, as well as maintaining the bond with loved ones back home.
How can I tackle homesickness?
- Use Skype, social media and direct messaging to keep in touch
- Inform them of any updates and new experiences
- Plan trips home occasionally
Relocating does not mean you have to cut all methods of communication with friends and family back home. Applications such as Skype and WhatsApp allow you to catch up using internet, so you aren’t charged for using your phone abroad. You can also make the most out any trips back to home soil by thinking ahead and turning a trip into a fun getaway. You can easily head online to find the perfect accommodation. If you were originally based in the US, there are various vacation rentals to suit you.
Adjusting To A New Culture
When you relocate, you will find yourself immersed in a new culture, and nobody can blame you from finding this overwhelming. Whether you are coping with new routine, etiquette, terrain, climate, or food, remember that this adjustment will not occur overnight. Over time, you will soon find you become used to the radical changes in your day to day life. Change can be hard, but once you have adjusted you will become even more comfortable and confident in your decision to relocate.
The Language Barrier
A language barrier can really make you feel lonely as an expat. You will have likely considered this before deciding to move, but if you are finding the different language overwhelming, don’t panic too much. Learning a language in the native speaking country has many advantages, as you will be able to immerse yourself in the language and will be surprised at how quickly you adjust.
What are the benefits of learning a new language?
- You will feel more at home
- A new language is a life-long skill
- You give yourself more opportunity to socialize and meet new people
You could also attend a course or even self-study. Don’t underestimate how spending time with native speakers can help you pick up phrases and colloquial mannerisms, too.15 Oct 2018