They say moving is one of the top 5 most stressful events in a person’s life, so imagine adding moving to another country to that? So why do we do it? Because it’s adventurous, it’s thrilling, and most of all it’s life-changing.
Plus, there are many ways to ease the stress. Here are some tips for settling into your new country.
Start learning before you go.
Most likely you started researching your new country before you made the decision to move. Now that you’re 100% committed to your move it’s time to learn as much as you can about the country before you go. Focus on learning about the society, government, and history. All of this will help you understand your new culture better. If the language is different from your home country, use this as a time to start learning about your new language. Try to learn at least a few basic survival words before you make your move.
Go “People Watching”.
Once you arrive it’s important to get out and start observing your new culture! Spend time out in public areas of your new city and start watching how people interact with one another. By watching locals you can safely observe the cultural norms in your new country. Do people greet each other with a handshake, or do they bow? Learning these customs can make a powerful difference in the connections you make with the locals.
Avoid Making Judgements.
There are bound to be challenges you will face in your new country, and it can be easy to start judging your new environment and comparing it to your home country, but it’s important to remember there is no right or wrong approach when it comes to cultural norms. With time you will start to understand the value and reasoning behind their way of doing things, and who knows, it could change your perspective on your old ‘norms’.
Stay True to Yourself.
Don’t feel that you have to change your values or beliefs in order to fit in to your new culture, just remember to translate them so that they are effective in the local context.