Tips for Settling into Your New Home Abroad

Moving to a new country can be an amazing experience. It’s a chance to learn about a new culture, to learn a new language, and to adapt to different ways of life. But it can also be difficult on many levels. You’re stepping into an unknown culture and setting up a new home abroad, and you’re learning a new language. That can be tough enough! But you’re also adapting to different ways of life, which can take some getting used to.

Photo of homes on a canal in a European town
Photo by Barb Duggan

Give Yourself Time to Adjust

One of the first things you need to do before working in a foreign country is research. Not every city is as expensive as the French Riviera so there are lots of options for you!

First, know the city you’ll be staying in, where you will live, and how you will get around. The more prepared you are, the better! That way, before you even arrive in your new country, you’ll know how to take care of basic necessities like housing and transportation.

For instance, let’s say you will move to the Philippines. Figure out the business districts, find a decent townhouse in Metro Manila, and know the different routes you can take to get there. Go to the bank beforehand and exchange your money for Philippine Pesos, just so you’ll know how much you need for rent.

Knowing what to expect is half the battle when it comes to settling into a new place, on both an emotional and logistical level. Give yourself time to adjust, and don’t feel too discouraged if everything isn’t instantly perfect.

Learn the Language as Quickly as Possible

One of the best ways to make the transition smoother when moving to a new country is to learn the language as quickly as possible. How can you start a new home abroad without being able to communicate with the people that live there?

It can be difficult at first, but it’s definitely worth it in the long run. Not only will you be able to communicate with the locals, but you’ll also be able to read street signs and menus, which can be really helpful.

There are many ways to learn a new language. You could take classes, watch movies with subtitles, or practice with a friend. No matter which method you choose, just make sure you stick with it! The more time and effort you put into learning the language, the easier it will be for you to get by in your new country.

Get to Know the Culture

Of course, it’s important and helpful to be aware of the local culture when moving to a foreign country. Whether it’s attending a local festival, going to a museum, or simply talking to people on the street, there are many ways to learn about a new culture.

Be open-minded when exploring your new surroundings. Try not to compare everything you experience in your new country to things back home. Instead, try to appreciate the differences and see them as an opportunity for growth. By getting to know the culture, you’ll be able to better adapt to your new surroundings and feel more at home.

Make Friends with Locals

Making friends is always easier when you have something in common. So, if you can find a few locals who enjoy the same things you do, you’ll have a built-in support system!

Maybe your new friends even speak English. If so, they can help you practice a bit. Maybe they know a little about your country and can teach you some interesting facts about theirs in return. Having friends to explore your surroundings with is a great way to get out of your comfort zone and experience your new country in a unique way.

Still, Be Vigilant

As wonderful as it can be to start a new home abroad there are also dangers that foreigners can face when working abroad. These dangers can come in many forms, such as crime, natural disasters, or political instability.

For example, if you’re working in a foreign country where there is political unrest, it’s important to be aware of the situation and keep yourself updated on the latest news. Otherwise, you could find yourself in a dangerous situation without knowing what’s going on.

Another thing to be aware of is the crime. No matter where you are in the world, there is always the potential for crime. So, it’s important to stay alert and be mindful of your surroundings, especially at night.

And if you ever find yourself in an emergency situation, make sure you know where the nearest embassy or consulate is located so that you can receive help immediately.

Be Patient

Starting a new home abroad can be difficult on many levels. It’s important to remember to be patient with yourself as you adjust to your new surroundings. Everything won’t be perfect overnight, and that’s okay! Just take it day by day, and before you know it, you’ll be feeling right at home.