Moving abroad for work or to study is a major lifestyle change. You will encounter new languages, cultures, cuisine, and norms. Some of you will adjust quicker than others to a new country, but, for most, it takes time and effort. A few tips can go a long way in helping you know what to expect and that you are not alone in your challenges. Here are five things to know before you go.
You will get lonely
Leaving home and all those you care about is never easy, no matter your excitement about moving abroad. Expect to feel homesick sometimes, and expect to need to talk to family and friends from home regularly to overcome that homesickness. What also helps overcome that loneliness is putting yourself out there. Don’t stay in your dorm or apartment stewing in that loneliness; instead, get together with your coworkers or classmates and enjoy your new, temporary home.
Things Will Go Wrong
Moving anywhere, much less abroad, is never without its hiccups. Things don’t always go as planned. You will forget things at home, have problems understanding those around you, feel embarrassed when you breach cultural norms, take the wrong bus, arrive late for a meeting or a class, order food you just can’t stomach eating and more. It’s okay. You’ll learn from those experiences, and likely won’t repeat them – at least not often. If you can do your best to go with the flow and enjoy the journey, you’ll have the right attitude to keep your experience a positive one.
If Your Chosen Country Isn’t A Good Fit, You Can Move On
If the country you’ve moved to does not seem to be a natural fit, that is okay. Your move isn’t, or doesn’t have to be, permanent. It is an adventure, and an exploration to try to determine what is a good fit for you in your life. It’s a good thing to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t, and the sooner the better, so you can move forward with more knowledge of what you really want.
Living Aboard Will Change You
The new experiences you will have during your time abroad will change how you look at other people, other cultures, and the world. It has the potential to enhance your understanding of everything from global politics and economics to religion, education, and food. You will not come home the same person but one who has gained a new perspective, more compassion and a greater appreciation for humankind.
Coming Home Won’t Be Easy
When you study or work abroad for an extended period of time, coming home will feel strange. For a while, you may feel like a foreigner in your own country. Once you’ve become accustomed to a new set of cultural norms, hearing a certain language and being a part of a certain society, it’s hard to acclimate to your own country once again. It will happen; just be prepared to give it some time. Be patient with yourself. You will be left with great memories and the advantage of feeling at home in two countries.
Tweet to @goinglobal
Information on employment outlook for more countries can be found by logging into your GoinGlobal account!
Don’t have an account? Sign up for a free online demo to learn how you can utilize GoinGlobal’s employment resources.