Moving abroad for the first time is a little bit of a double-edged sword - the excitement and the rush of experiencing a completely new life, in new surroundings, is a brilliant feeling. You cannot wait to get out there and immerse yourself in this new environment. However, the other side of the coin is that it can be scary and overwhelming; after all, you are leaving behind your family and your beloved friends. You are pretty much having to start from scratch, making connections with people, setting up your life and figuring out how everything works.
To help you tip the balance in favour of the exciting part, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of 7 tips. To get settled, make your life easier and forget about the scary part of moving abroad.
1. Remember you are not at home anymore. This might be hard to do in the first few days but try to immerse yourself in the local cuisine, buy local products and produce. Instead of going to the “Imported” section of your supermarket and pick everything that feels like home. The sooner you stop comparing your hometown to your new home, the sooner you can truly appreciate what makes the new city so great to live in.
2. Understand which greetings are common and how personal distance works. Do people shake hands, do they give hugs? Adapt to the local way of non-verbal communication and make an effort to take a step towards locals.
3. Don’t be shy speaking the local language! Even if you don’t have the best vocabulary or you are self-conscious about your accent. People will appreciate you making the effort to speak to them in their native tongue. Most will even find your accent charming, so see it as an advantage!
4. Don’t stay at home! Go out, speak to people, make new friends or simply explore the city. It is very likely that your city has a huge number of sights to see and things to do. Also, try not to just work and work until you are just too tired when you get home to go out. Remember to relax, unwind and have some fun too!
5. When meeting new people and making new friends, beware of not sticking to people from your home country. The more people from varied backgrounds and different ethnic origins, you get to know, the more interesting and rewarding your time abroad is going to be. As soon as you get stuck with people from your home country, you will only speak your native tongue and stay in a microcosm that is too similar to your old home. Remember that being abroad is about new experiences - not sticking to old ones.
6. Find meetups for people who share your interests! Whether you love playing tennis, going to the theatre or reading sci-fi novels. Chances are there are thousands in the city who share your interest. Meetups for specific interests are a great way to make new friends in a new city.
7. Make sure you have your accommodation sorted before you move! Finding accommodation for a few months up to a year can be painful. Hotels, even hostels for medium-term are pricey and many landlords expect you stay at least a year. If you need any help, hop over to our internship accommodation site!
Now that you know how to deal with the scary part of moving abroad, you are free to let your excitement run wild. After all, you are going to work or study in an exciting new city and will come back with new friendships and a whole new outlook on life!
We at FlatClub wish you the best of luck and an amazing time abroad!
Sandra Crespo, Head of Online Marketing for FlatClub
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