Living in another country can be challenging at times, but it also has the potential to be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. The chance to learn a new language or immerse yourself in a new culture are two of the factors that lead many people to make the decision to move abroad. There is also the money factor to consider, and many expats are motivated by the fact that they can potentially earn far more money abroad than they can at home.
The US State Department estimates that nearly 9 million Americans live abroad, and this number has been rising steadily over the past few decades. However, if you’re considering joining this group and making the move abroad, there are definitely a few things you need to know. By taking the following steps when planning for your move, you’ll hopefully ensure that the move itself goes more smoothly and also give yourself a better chance of making the transition successfully and quickly settling into your new adopted home.
Familiarize Yourself with the City and Culture
After deciding (or being told by your company) where you’re moving to, one of the first things you’ll want to do is start researching your soon-to-be new home. Reading up on the city will give you a better idea of what to expect, what there is to do and how much things will cost. Pay close attention to the descriptions of each of the city’s neighborhoods as this will help you greatly once it’s time to search for houses or apartments by allowing you to narrow down your choices to the most desirable neighborhoods.
Learning more about the history of the city and country and beginning to familiarize yourself with the local culture will also give you a better understanding of the locals and hopefully make it easier for you to relate to people and thus start making new friends more quickly. In short, the best way to prepare for your move and give yourself a better chance of finding yourself in a situation you hate is to do your research to ensure you know what to expect and what you’re actually getting yourself into.
Bring a Piece of Home with You
The logistics of moving abroad can be a nightmare. Unless you’re a recent college graduate, you’ll surely want to bring far more things than you can fit in one or two suitcases. For this reason, it’s highly recommended that you start looking into moving companies like Bekins Van Lines Inc that offer international moving services. Bringing your furniture or other items from home with you is a great way to help prevent you from feeling homesick, and it also has the potential to save you some serious cash by ensuring you don’t have to buy all new furniture once you make the move.
Don’t Let Culture Shock Get You Down
No matter where you’re moving to, things are bound to be different than they were at home. Furthermore, even the most thorough research won’t prepare you for everything, which means that there’s an extremely high chance that you’ll eventually start feeling home sick. Culture shock is a phenomenon where you start disliking or even hating many aspects of a new place and constantly thinking about how things are better than home.
Unfortunately, it affects almost everyone who lives abroad at some point. For some people, it might set in within the first few weeks, while it might take months and months before others start feeling it. No matter when it does finally happen, the key is to not let it get you down. Instead, what you should really do is try to immerse yourself even further in your new life and try to constantly remember what drove you to move abroad in the first place.
Moving abroad is never entirely easy or without hassle. However, the more you can to do prepare yourself for the move, the better your chances are of it being successful. In this sense, the three steps listed above are just a few pieces of the puzzle.