Moving abroad can offer many benefits such as nicer weather, a different lifestyle or better job prospects but it can be as daunting as it is thrilling at times. Once you’re in the swing of things and have adapted to your new surroundings your life may be the best it’s ever been but the settling down period can become increasingly lengthy if you don’t prepare properly and take certain actions. Here at Astute Education, we have created a guide to settling down quickly when you relocate to a new country, to help make the process a more seamless experience.
Undoubtedly the biggest challenge many people face when immigrating to a foreign country is overcoming the language barrier. If you are reading this it is likely that your first (and maybe only) language is English and whilst that is okay for moving to the U.S, Canada, New Zealand and Australia among other countries with a variation of the English language, Europe, Asia, Africa and South America all have many popular destinations which do present a language barrier you will need to overcome if you are going to relocate there.
There are many apps available which make learning a language from the comfort of your own home a plausible solution. Alternatively, lessons and tutoring may work better for you but whichever route you decide to take to learn the language, having a working knowledge of the language before relocating will dramatically speed up the process of settling down once you make the move.
Meet Your New Neighbours
Once you have a grasp of the language and have finally moved abroad one of the first things you should make an effort to do is getting to know your neighbours. Living on the same street as people means that you are probably going to get to know them eventually but making introductions as early as possible may give you a few helping hands whilst you’re still finding your feet.
Whether you are seeking help with directions, need recommendations for somewhere to eat or simply want a friendly face to talk to your neighbours could prove to be invaluable friends when you first relocate. Befriending neighbours is also a great way to quickly develop a social circle outside of your job and get to understand the new culture sooner rather than later.
Try New Things
When moving abroad it can be easy to pass on opportunities either because you’re “too busy” or don’t feel comfortable just yet. However, in these circumstances it is often best to dive head first and break the ice by joining a club. If you know the language, a book club could be an ideal way to meet new people and become involved with the community whilst sports groups are generally a good idea for more energetic individuals.
The aim is to break out of your shell and become comfortable with your new surroundings. If there’s an event and a gathering of people – give it a go. From live music to a yoga classes, constantly look to expand your comfort zone and create opportunity to meet new people.
You may have noticed one common theme across the three key pieces of advice – people. Settling down in a new country has a lot to do with communicating with people. If you can speak the language and integrate into new friendship circles you will find settling down in a foreign country becomes much easier and quicker. It doesn’t matter what your reason for moving abroad is, whether you are starting a new career abroad or retiring, these tips will help you find your feet as quick as possible.