Taking your life to a new country can be an adventurous experience. You meet new people, visit new places, experience new culture and your whole world seem to be full of so many new colours. But soon, as the initial excitement wears off, this new world can start to become agitating and even frightening for people. Living an ex-pat life is not always a joyride in the park. You might have to make complete changes in your personality to adapt to your new environment. But things don’t have to be that difficult.
To help better adjust to a new country, below are the top 10 tips that can help you deal with the culture shock and fit in easily to your new country.
1. Be open-minded and flexible
Where ever you go the first thing you have to do after settling there is to respect their culture, traditions and core values. You can’t judge others with the perception of your own culture, where you lived your whole past life. Their culture and traditions mean the same to them as much as yours mean to you. Try to learn their cultural knowledge, follow their events, observe their behaviour and their reaction to certain things. Eventually, their culture will start making sense and you will learn how to avoid and respect things you still don’t like.
2. Learn the native language
You cannot stay comfortable with someone if you don’t know how to communicate with them in their native language. Yes, we can stay in touch for a shorter period with translators, mobile phone software and through other tools but still, you will miss a lot. Language is the key to culture. If we want to mix into their culture and settle there, we must thoroughly equip ourselves with the local language.
3. Explore local events
To help better mix up with the people, find out their local events and festivals. Participate in those events so you can socialize as much as you can and make new friends. Learn how they usually conduct themselves around the place and try to adjust to their habits as much as possible.
4. Interact with natives
Don’t hide in the comfort zone. Explore the local areas and try to attend their festivities, interact with them at your workplace while doing grocery or whatever chance you get. Learn about the things they like and don’t like. Be happy in their happiness and share their sorrow when they are sad consequently when your time comes, they will do the same. Make every effort possible to make a healthy liaison so when you are in thick and thin there would be someone who will stand behind your back.
5. Watch local TV channels and read the newspaper
Follow the local media so you can make keep in touch with the current happenings around you. Watch current affairs programs and be aware of the problems and issues in the society you are living in. Furthermore, it will help you become aware of how things work around and reading newspapers will help you with learning the language.
6. Follow social media
Keep in touch with the people and events way before coming abroad. Try to interact as much as you can on social platforms. Find the opportunities of your interest in the city or state you are living. See what you can do to get more comfortable with your environment.
7. Explore new favourites
In order to feel home at the place you are living in, you must find some new activities. Visit new sections in the grocery store add something new in the list. Visit new places like bars, restaurants, gaming zones or maybe an amusement park. Try the local street food. Look for some clothing store. Find something new to do. Add some new favourites in your list. Staying occupied will help you fight loneliness and keep active.
8. See ex-pat groups
Have a look for ex-pats group near your workplace or maybe in your college or in the neighbours. Interact with them, share things you think you may have in common. Discuss the problems you are facing as an ex-pat in the city. They will understand more than anyone else because they have common interests and problems. They will understand your problems from your perspective and guide you properly.
9. Stay positive
living abroad is not an easy thing to do, you will doubt your decision about moving abroad several times. Hardships you face might make you think that you have made a wrong decision but don’t allow these negative thoughts to invade your mind, stay determined and always think about the end goal.
10. Develop skills to earn the daily bread
Plan how you will earn once you move abroad. Prepare for the challenges you are going to face, research about the issues. Finding a job to earn your daily expenditures is the issue almost everyone faces when they go abroad. You must find the nature of jobs available there and develop your skills accordingly. It would be better for you to start applying for the jobs even before going there. If you will become successful in getting a suitable job it would help you with financial matters and take a great burden off of your shoulders.
Going to a new country might require you to become a completely different man as well. Although living as an ex-pat comes with its initial hardships, it usually resolves with time and you blend in with the crowd and become one with the country you’re living in.