Expat Life: Top 10 Stressors and How to Cope

Expat life top 10 stressors and how to cope

Don’t you love the new tint of sunlight hitting on your face at 11 in the morning? Don’t you love all the new cuisines and new people to meet in another country? Of course, that is a fairy-tale experience for many and a dream come true for the majority of individuals who have always aspired to live life abroad as an expatriate. 

To make your journey of self-exploration easy and to give you a taste on how to put a genuine smile on the face when everything becomes a bit stressful and overwhelming in the expedition, we have extracted some tips from the teachings of psychology. 

Some of the stressors every expatriate may feel at least once in their exciting journey are as follows.

1. New People

The area you have chosen to live now is full of new people; strangers you know nothing about. Then, settling in such an environment is equally exciting and overwhelming. You don’t know them, and they don’t know you. You don’t know who to trust and what to expect from them. Everything is unpredictable. 

The best way to deal with this is to take one thing at a time and observe how they deal with other humans on a day to day basis. Remember, after all, they are not aliens and are humans like you. Note that they too display basic human errors which are pretty normal. 

2. New Language

Unless you have done your homework and studied the language before moving there, getting adjusted to the linguistics and the words can cause a lot of stress. This becomes difficult, especially when you have to do some money exchange activity or ask for an address for a location. 

Instead of cramming everything, try to focus on learning one or two words a day from the daily examples you see around you. Listen to what people are saying or try to capture a textual content written on the boards outside. Google these words when you are free and absorb them with no pressure. 

3. Locations and Transport

As an expat, it is pretty much easy to get lost in the streets or a building, and it becomes hard to reach a destination on time. You don’t know the address and the right transport that will take you there. You might get overcharged based on the type of transport you choose to get there. All these things can create anxiety in you. 

It is best to keep a map of the area you are living in and keep an open eye whenever you are roaming down the streets. It is best to take help from traffic signs and boards and ask for the city administration to give you a handout in English so that you can easily navigate places in the city. 

4. Expenditure

Money is a huge stressor in the life of an expat – especially when it comes down to exchanging currency and buying new stuff, paying bills, and more. You might be accidentally following your country’s rates while spending the current currency notes, eventually going into a difficulty. 

The best thing is to take some time out to understand the currency values, the ways things are bought and sold in the place, and what are the average rates of different things in the market. 

5. Rent and Living 

Depending on the area you live in, the rates for apartments or houses may vary. Instead of depending on the search engines to find a suitable place of residence for yourself, try figuring out which place would suit you by doing research on-site. 

See whether the area is safe enough, has all the amenities in surroundings you need, and check whether the location is near to your university or work or not. Double-check the rates and make sure you and the house owner are on the same page when going about a deal. 

6. Food 

You might have some health conditions such as allergies that restrict you from having certain food, or you don’t know how to make a specific local dish in the area. Another case might be that you simply do not like the staple that is used in the new country.

The answer lies in finding substitutes in the area. Do this thing as one of the primary things you would do as you shift in another country. 

7. Work and Career Prospects 

Working can become difficult if you don’t know the rules, regulations, procedures, and the policies regarding the place you have gone to. Do some prior research before making any commitment to work. Also, note other benefits given to expats other than the salary at work. 

Also, it is recommended you look for your career growth in the job you are going for – if you find no chance of career growth in the job you have applied for in the area, it is best in your interest that you take this job something as a temporary errand rather than making it your priority. 

8. Banking 

Earning money is not the only troubling monetary problem in another country; trying to store it safely is a whole another challenge. The best way is to find a bank that works best with expats and understand any special concerns you might have. 

9. Culture Shift

Adapting to a new culture is surely a problem in a new country where you have gone as an expat. The key is to have an open heart and embrace the world full of opportunities. Keeping a growth mindset with a positive attitude will take you places. 

10. Loneliness 

If you have come to a new country alone, it is nothing surprising to feel homesick after a while. You can try connecting to your loved ones in your native country through technology like video calls, and even go for therapy if this problem is hampering you from living a normal life. 


The challenges are always there, but the way you overcome those challenges when settling in a totally new area reveals how strong of a person you are.




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