Moving abroad is like a rollercoaster. Some days are amazing and some days are frustrating. It can be pretty scary at the beginning since you’re getting out of your comfort zone, but remember that we start living as soon as we get out of our comfort zone. The entire process of moving abroad and getting used to another culture can be really overwhelming and difficult. I’ve studied abroad three times, and I recently moved to another country. That’s why I decided to write about things I did, that helped me the most to get used to living abroad.
Learn about the country before arriving
I know it may sound obvious but try to learn as much as possible to avoid having a huge culture shock. Learn about the culture, find out the customs and try to learn the language (knowing simple words can help a lot!). What do people do for fun? What do they eat? These are some questions you should look answers for, before arriving at your new home. Some things that aren’t illegal in your country could be illegal in the country you’re going to, you never know. For example, chewing gum is illegal in Singapore. Also, be sure that the place you’re moving to is the right place for you. If you’re a town girl and are moving to a big city or if you’re a city girl that is moving to a small town, it can be really shocking sometimes. Be sure to see if that city or place is really going to be a great fit for you. See how life is there, make your research. If you’re moving to a big city read this post to find out if you are a city girl trapped in a small town.
Get into the right mindset
Once you are there, you may tend to compare everything to home. Don’t. Each country is super different and each country has good and bad things. There are different customs, different manners even different morals. In some countries, many things that we consider polite are impolite. Allow yourself to get to know the country and its locals better before you start making assumptions. If you keep thinking that everything is better at home, you’ll end up not enjoying this exciting experience as much as you would if kept an open mind about things. You should wait at least a few weeks to start comparing and making conclusions. Again, every country is different and you shouldn’t when you haven’t been living there long enough to find out the beautiful and amazing things.
Coping with homesickness
Moving abroad is no easy task. No matter how hard you try, one way or another, sooner or later, you’ll be having some homesickness feelings. It is inevitable. And that is totally okay. It is fine and understandable to miss home. So here are some tips to cope with homesickness:
- Try making your new home as cozy and comfortable as your old one. Bring some pictures of friends or family, and/or bring an item that reminds you of home.
- Communicate regularly with friends and family, but not too often. Wanting to be at home and missing friends won’t let you enjoy the new experiences you’re living.
- Have someone to talk to. Sometimes we just need someone who will listen to us and will give us great advice. There were times when I just missed home so much I would be really sad, having a friend there who would just listen to me and would cheer me up was so nice, it definitely helped me to overcome homesickness.
A reason why you might have decided to move abroad is that you wanted to get to know another country from a different perspective (not the tourist perspective). So, do it! Go out and explore. Explore like a local. I know it might be tempting to stay at home and FaceTime with your friends and family the entire day, but you’re missing out a lot by doing this. I’m not saying you shouldn’t FaceTime with your friends and family or that you should never stay at home all day. All I’m saying is that you shouldn’t do it too often. Instead, get involved in your city, to join a club or a sports league, or to visit touristic places. Do things you normally wouldn’t do. Make a list of all the things you want to do and stick to it, try to do every single thing on your list. Get out of your comfort zone and explore!
To sum everything up…
- Before moving abroad, you should learn about the country you’re going to.
- During your first days there, you shouldn’t make conclusions, since you haven’t been there long enough to find the beautiful things that country has to offer. In the meantime, keep an open mind about things.
- To cope with homesickness, have someone you can talk to and communicate with your friends and family regularly.
- By getting involved in your city, you can make the most out of this experience.
Where are you planning to move? Share your experience leaving a comment below! And don’t forget to pin or share this with your loved ones!