Have you ever wondered what it would be like to start a new life? Somewhere far away from home, in a different culture, with new people. Thinking about getting on plane and start your life anew? Welcome to the life of an expat. Expats are professionals at traveling, moving, making new friends, packing (there’s so much packing involved you have no idea) and above all saying goodbye.
Traveling the world as tourist is one thing. Moving to another country something completely different. A good vacation destination does not equal a new home. When you move to a new country your world changes completely. What happens is you get taken away from what you know and you are forced to adapt to the local culture and traditions.
Research shows that expats are more likely to deal with issues such as anxiety or depression as they are separated family and friends. Moving to a new country means losing your social support system and having to have work on building new relationships. Language can be a big issue as well. The more foreign the country is, the more disconnected you are likely to feel.
Nonetheless! Moving abroad is an incredibly enriching experience and it will make you grow as a human being in many ways. Therefore, if you too are considering packing your bags and starting out somewhere new, here’s a couple of tips for moving abroad:
1. Do your research and prepare yourself culturally This is true especially for people traveling because of work. The knowledge of the local business culture can be a make or break factor in your professional success. Luckily there’s a ton of resources out there and communities such as BoundaryLess can help in setting you up for future success.
2. Get to know the language as well as you can Yes, knowing English is amazing but it will not get you everywhere. Depending on where you go, the knowledge of the local language will or will not be necessary in your day to life. However, the better your foreign language skills are, the more at ease you will feel entering the new environment. It will also be easier for you to get to know the locals. People always appreciate it when you (at least try) to speak their language.
3. Look for communities with the same background or interest as yours Once you finally get to your destination, look for people who share your interests. This can be anything from arts, sports to general communities for expats. Meeting with people who are going through the same process as you are will help you in making new friends and will also provide with a support system in any type of moving – local – administrative questions you might have.
So how does it sound? Are you going to be the world’s next expat?