We live in a time where moving abroad is not a rare phenomenon anymore. Migration today is seen as one of the most common events in a young adult’s life, be it for an overseas employment opportunity or studies abroad. But regardless of one’s age, moving to a new country and living independently is exciting yes, but not all that easy.
For all the thrilled yet anxious ones, here are a few tips to settle in smoothly and begin a new expat life:
Find communities you relate to
Owing to constant migration, you will always find people from your country or hometown, who could be your homies, in the area you reside in. Find places, restaurants, events, etc. where people from your community are known to hang out and you are bound to make some friends. There are many websites such as What’s On or news sites that provide information about local events taking place. Alternately, you can also join similar interest groups on Facebook, Google hangouts, Expat forums etc. to stay updated about social events happening in your vicinity. Let yourself free and be open to conversations.
Discover, Explore, Live
You are in a new country, make the best of the opportunity and go out exploring the streets, visit supermarkets and get acquainted with products that may not have been available back home. Take long walks and let the roads define your path; capture moments and create memories. But wherever you go, don’t forget to make a note of the local authority’s contact numbers and yes, carry your GPS along!
Get acquainted with the local language
Make an effort to learn a few local phrases immediately, it not only makes communication easy, you will also find strangers being more approachable. This way getting your work done also becomes relatively simpler. Simple words like ‘Hello’, ‘Sorry’, ‘Thank You’, ‘Good Day’ could help you get around town without much ado.
This is possibly a good time to get more involved in your life. Since you are living independently, most probably without any immediate family, it is important to start doing things that you probably never did before. Simple things like cooking for yourself rather than ordering in, organizing your own finances , filing of important documents or even indulging in creative DIY home décor that will not only help you save money but also learn something new.
Stay in touch
Keeping in touch with your family and friends is a given, but we all have those relatives and friends who merely exist in our contact list, Whatsapp groups and Facebook friends list, whom we have not spoken to in eons. It is time to get in touch with them and rewind the bond!
Stay connected with your culture
Celebration of festivals in your new country may not be as grand as it was back home, but make it a point to partake in those festivals in your own possible ways. Little things like visiting your place of worship, shopping for traditional clothes, preparing some delicacies or decorating your room for the festival will give you a sense of home and help you stay rooted and connected.
The initial few months of living in a new country are usually the gestation period until you find yourself referring to that very country as your home! With a little bit of patience and active exploring, your expat life will be as exciting as you always imagined.