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Adjusting To a New Country

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Is this your very first time moving house? Whether you’re moving across the border or across the world, relocating to an entirely new country is both exciting and downright overwhelming! Anything from planning the move, to packing, to settling in will find its place on your moving list, and that one won’t be easy to conquer. Thankfully, we’re here to help. Whatever the reason for your move – work, family or school – here are some tips to help you settle into your new home successfully.

Plan ahead: The more in-detail plan you create, the better prepared you’ll be once you arrive. Use our article to create a step by step list of things you should do in a chronological order. First and foremost, we need to get the logistics of your move out of the way.

It’s especially important to find a professional and reliable international moving company. Look for the one that can best accommodate your move. If you’re moving to a country far away, you’ll more than likely need to have your belongings shipped overseas. While some choose to ship their things via plane, the most economical (albeit slower) route is to ship them via boat.

Make sure the movers walk you through the entire international relocation process from beginning to end. Since much of the cost of an international move is based on volume, it’s best not to pack everything. Remember: items, such as furniture and decor, can be purchased in your new country. Be sure to pack your own suitcase with at least 2 weeks worth of clothing and necessary items as well.

Reminder: Don’t forget about customs! Make sure to read up on the country’s customs regulations before packing your things, since each country has different rules and regulations about what you can and cannot bring across their borders. But as a general rule of thumb, you can bet hazardous and flammable materials won’t be welcome.

Prepare mentally: Stop worrying in advance about what you’re going to do after you move and start focusing on what to do before you move. Besides moving logistics, there are plenty of ways you can prepare for your relocation. First, I suggest setting up your utilities and bank account ahead of time. Then, focus on learning as much as possible about your new country. Here are a few good starting points:

  • Check out maps online to get a general lay of the land.
  • Learn about the shops and restaurants in your new neighborhood.
  • Research the country’s history, culture, customs, and cultural norms. Read a travel book to explore the happenings in your area.
  • In addition to learning about the culture, it’s also a good idea to study up on the country’s language. If you can take a language class or hire a tutor, I highly recommend doing so before you move. This way you’ll know enough of the language to do basic things the first few months, like ordering food or asking for directions.
  • Also, it may be a good idea to research relocation companies in your new city. Oftentimes, these companies will not only help you find a home and furnishings but will also help you to get acclimated to your new surroundings.

Be touristy: We encourage you to embrace your inner tourist! When you’re new to a city, the best thing you can do is grab your travel guides and start exploring your environment. From museums and historic sites to shopping, dining and activities – touring your city and its surroundings will introduce you to all the fun your new country has to offer. Once you’ve explored your own town, we recommend renting a car and checking out other cities and landmarks throughout the area.

Find new friends:  …but don’t neglect your old ones. You won’t do yourself any favors by sitting at home all alone. Say “yes” to as many invitations as you can. Also, be the one to invite. Don’t wait for potential new friends to come to you – get outside and find them yourself! Seek out local expat groups, meetups, and expat bars in your new town to meet like-minded people. Also, don’t be afraid to take initiative when it comes to planning activities with other people. This might sound too obvious but do say hello to your neighbors (and don’t forget to give them a friendly smile). You can easily chat someone up after they’ve returned you a smile. However, while you’re busy making new friends, don’t forget your old ones! Make time to skype and call friends and family back home, so you don’t lose touch.

Assimilate: Here is what we mean: Not only is getting involved in the community a great way to learn more about your home, but it will also inadvertently introduce you to a new set of people and potential friends. Find out about their causes, and help with one. Join the community effort to clean he streets or help poor member of the community. In case there is a community center nearby, you can easily sign up for language classes, become a volunteer at a local non-profit,  or buy a gym membership. Join an enthusiast group sharing your hobbies.  Find your best way to immerse yourself in a new culture and community.

Go with the flow: Obviously, not everything about your move is going to go as smoothly as you hoped. Perhaps your belongings show up a few weeks late or you’re struck with a bout of unexpected homesickness. Stay calm – it’s perfectly normal to run into a few hiccups and bumps along the way. Whatever happens, though, try your best to remain positive. Everything gets easier over time. So focus on the good things, like the culture, food and people and forget the rest! Try to stay positive in face of every obstacle and enjoy the experience.