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Thursday, April 29, 2021

Getting Used To Life In Another Country

After living in one house my whole life until that point, at the age of 16 my family moved abroad. After a year there I moved back to the US, and at the age of 18 I moved back to get married. Trust me, the transition to another country was not easy- many times I attempted to convince my then husband to move with me to the States, but that wasn't so easy since he wasn't American. Over time I acclimated to this country and have definitely gotten used to it. 
The biggest thing I found useful in feeling comfortable in another country is finding people who speak my language as well as expats from my country. Facebook groups have been some of the most wonderful ways to connect with English speakers locally, and moving to a community with a large number of Americans also really helped. They've held my hand as I got used to this place, heard me gripe about my challenges with the transition, and given me tips that I wouldn't have known as a newbie. 
Here are some other tips on acclimating to a new country, sent in by a reader.


Moving to another country is one of the more daunting challenges a person can take on in life, but it’s an exciting opportunity that not many people get to take on. There’s so much to be learning, so much to explore - it’s a whole new life! When you actually get the opportunity to spend time in another country, you start to see how different things are from what you’re used to. Even if people speak the same language, there will always be cultural differences, norms, ways to greet people. It’s exciting to think about, but if you’re thinking about moving, you’ll want to know just what to expect.

Unlike moving to another home in your country, moving abroad leaves you a lot more to your own devices. You’ll have fewer connections to rely on, less knowledge about getting help, and you’re overall forced to be more independent when figuring things out.


Work opportunities

Before you consider moving, you should try your best to see what kind of experience you can get in the said country before you take on something more permanent. A lot of people will often look for ways to get abroad by taking up work opportunities for the duration that they’re allowed to stay. Sometimes this is in the form of volunteer work, where you spend your week working, and you have your accommodation and food handled for you; great for those who are just looking to experience the country, rather than make something of their time working.

For those who are prepared to make the move permanently, you should be making sure that you have a job opportunity lined up for you when you arrive. The last thing you want is to be stuck in another country without a form of income to support you. This is a hurdle you should overcome before you start making the move.

Learning the culture

Visiting other countries will often present many opportunities for you to experience their culture, but you have to be willing and keep an open mind if you want to be a part of it. It’s not always easy to leave the comfort zone, and depending on where you are, the cultural differences might be significant - nonetheless, if you’re interested in the country, it doesn’t hurt to get stuck in!

Moving options

Moving to another country isn’t as simple as hopping on the plane and then looking for a place to settle down, you have to abide by the laws of that country. Most countries won’t allow you citizenship without meeting the proper requirements, and you’ll only be able to visit for a duration before meeting them.

Some countries will make exceptions for those who meet other requirements, for example, in the UK you can seek out a spouse visa application. Other countries will have similar options, and it can make the transition much easier to make. This was put in place so that people with partners outside of the country can easier reunite and live together.

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