Tips That Will Help Get Settled in a New Country: So you’ve arrived at your new home, unpacked your suitcases and moving boxes, and are ready to embark on your big adventure! Don’t worry if you’re feeling overwhelmed; we’ve got some terrific recommendations to help you settle in as an ex-pat in those early days.
One of the most exciting aspects of being an ex-pat is having nearly unrestricted time to explore your new location. Whether you’ve arrived in a bustling metropolis or a sleepy village, taking some time to explore will be an unforgettable experience. You’ll not only appreciate taking in the new sights and noises, but you’ll also likely begin to gain a sense of where to discover neighborhood conveniences and meet local shopkeepers.
Put some personal touches in place as soon as you can, whether your new home is a small dorm room or a spacious country home. You may be planning to live abroad for a few months or indefinitely, but your home should not be considered transitory. It’s your home for the time being, no matter how long you reside there, so make it a comfortable haven for yourself as you settle in as an ex-pat.
Every ex-pat has a day that is terrible, horrible, no-good, and very bad, just like Alexander in the classic story. It’s an unavoidable consequence of living in a place with a completely different pace and pattern than you’re used to. It will help you avoid catastrophe thinking that you’ve made the wrong choice, or that your new host nation is impossible or full of nasty people if you go into it anticipating a bad day to be just that.
Expect to offend someone, forget your wallet, make a major administrative error, or become lost as you begin your ex-pat experience.
Accept it and write about it in your journal or diary — you’ll love looking back on that crucial aspect of your ex-pat transition.
While it may be tempting to stay at home and video chat with friends or family from back home, make an effort to get out and meet new people in your neighborhood. The richness of developing friendships with locals and other ex-pats will enrich your life tremendously. Perhaps a group of individuals from your language class are getting together for drinks, or another mom from your children’s school is available for a mid-morning coffee. Accept any opportunity to meet new people and learn more about them. And don’t be hesitant to strike up a friendship on your own!
If establishing acquaintances seems hard, consider getting a job or volunteering with a local nonprofit. Although your visa may prevent you from working, there are still many local groups in need of assistance who would welcome your assistance. Many communities have homeless or hungry-aid organizations, animal shelters, local clean-up campaigns, or religious volunteer opportunities. If you’re stuck on ideas, check with local churches or look up non-profits in your area on the internet.
There is no such thing as a simple or painless fresh beginning. If you recall your first day at a new job, or your first day of high school, or the start of a new relationship, you’ll recall how unpredictable and frightening everything seemed. You’re also unlikely to recall the precise moment when that thing shifted from being strange and frightening to being familiar and accepted. It takes some time to go from new to comfy, but it does happen. Your life will become more normal as you spend more time in your host nation. It won’t happen overnight, but it will, so be patient and persevere.
Expat living isn’t just about floating around in a dreamlike condition like in a movie. Real living brings real obligations, and the sooner you can learn to be aware and proactive about your host country’s administrative details, the less stressful your life will be. As you settle into life as an ex-pat, here are some questions to ask yourself – and your new ex-pat friends:
When you live abroad, one of the most important items on your to-do list is to ensure that you and your family have enough health insurance that covers you not only in your ex-pat destination country but also back home and regionally. While comparing different overseas health plans can be intimidating, consulting an expert is a good idea.
Facebook now has a group for practically anything you can imagine. These organizations can be a gold mine of useful advice from ex-pats who have lived in the area for much longer than you. This is where you may get answers to your queries, look for essential resources like educational aids or hairstylists, and, yes, make friends! Try looking for ex-pat groups in your area on the internet or on Facebook. The amazing thing about these groups is that the longer you’re a member, the more you’ll learn about even more great ex-pat communities, and your resource list will continue to grow!
While a new environment with new people and new things to do is part of the thrill of ex-pat life, settling into a predictable pattern will be beneficial to your stress levels and mental health. Making new friends is still crucial, so make sure you leave the place in your schedule for an unexpected lunch invitation or supper with pals. Setting an alarm clock, building a morning routine, following the same route to work or class on most days, and having a nighttime pattern can all greatly aid your adjustment.
It might be as simple as waking up, getting a cup of coffee, and taking a few moments to meditate, or as difficult as finding a morning group exercise class and regularly attending meetup groups. Whatever your program comprises, be sure it works for you and that you maintain it on a regular basis. It might be as simple as waking up, getting a cup of coffee, and taking a few moments to meditate, or as difficult as finding a morning group exercise class and regularly attending meetup groups. Whatever your program comprises, be sure it works for you and that you maintain it on a regular basis.
It might be difficult to adjust to living in a new country. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it’ll lead to adventures that will make all of the effort worthwhile! Yes, there’s still Covid-19 to deal with, but life moves on, and some of us need to travel and live in other countries.