Relocating abroad is an exciting experience. You get to visit a new place (often for the first time), experience new cultures, and meet people from around the world. However, in the back of your head there is often a small fear that goes with moving overseas, especially if it’s your first time, and that’s the fear of leaving the comfort of your home. You might be leaving friends and family behind, you won’t have access to the same shops you used to, you might have to move the kid’s school.
Moving abroad is full of challenges, but I’m here to tell you that there’s no need to fear, as this article will provide some great tips on how to feel at home in a new country.
Learn the Language
This is an obvious one, but it makes such a difference when relocating abroad. You don’t even need to be fluent, but even knowing enough to go into shops and restaurants and order what you need will make you feel so much more comfortable, and the locals will appreciate it too. As you become more confident, it’ll also open up opportunities to meet more people from different countries.
At PRELO, we are partnered with Learnlight to help provide language training to our Relocators, which will give you a great head start when moving overseas. Language exchanges and conversation groups are also very common and are a great way to practice your language skills with a native speaker, as well as being a way to meet new people.
Get to Know your Local Area
Was there a café back home that you loved? Or a fruit and veg shop that you always shopped at? Well, chances are your new town will have some new options that you’ll love just as much – you just have to find them. Spend your first few weeks after moving overseas walking round the local area trying all the different places.
Another important part of feeling at home in a new country is knowing how to get around. It’s likely that the transport system will be different to your old town, so understanding how it works in your new city will make you feel so much more comfortable. You’ll also feel much safer knowing that if anything happens you know how to get home.
Bring Some Items from Home
Even though you can find most of the products you want around the world, particularly in major cities, there will still be some things that just aren’t quite the same as home. Perhaps it’s your favourite coffee, or your favourite chocolate. This is why it makes sense to bring some of these things with you when you relocate. You can even ask friends and family to send things over to you when they run out. I still have friends in Barcelona who ask me to send them chocolate from the UK every so often!
The same goes for items with sentimental value. I understand you might be restricted by luggage space but bringing some things like photos or souvenirs with you when you move overseas can really help you feel more at home.
Connect with People from your Home Country
More and more people are relocating abroad nowadays, so the chances are you won’t be the only ones from your home country in your new country, particularly if you’re living in a major city. Also, it’s likely they’ll be having the same problems you are, so you can work through them together.
There are loads of websites that advertise expat groups which are a great way to meet people and joining local clubs will help you to find people with similar interests to you.
Another point – don’t be afraid to make friends with people from other countries as well. You’ll soon realise that we all have similarities, and you can make conversation with just about anyone.
Moving abroad is full of challenges, and there will be times when it definitely won’t be easy, but remember that every problem you come across can be solved. The biggest factor in making you feel at home in a new country will be time. In time you’ll learn to love your new way of life and you’ll feel like a local.
Hopefully these tips will help when relocating overseas. At PRELO, we handle the entire relocation process for you, to save you the stress and the time. Click here if you’d like some more information!