7 Tips on how to get used to a new country faster after a relocation
How do you adapt to life in another country if you are going to study there? Many students who have left to study abroad find it difficult to adapt to a foreign country and get used to a new way of life. I’ve lived in several countries and know that it sometimes can be hard to adapt to a new country. If you have moved abroad, it is worth making some efforts to integrate into the local society faster. In this article I share 7 tips on how you can get used to a new country faster after a relocation.
1. Speak the language of the country you have moved to
Universities around the world now offer courses in English. This undoubtedly makes entrance and study easier for many international students. However, if you are going to study English in a country where English is not the official language, it is worth considering learning the local language as well. There are plenty of mobile applications that are free and easy to use to learn a new language, for example Duolingo, Mondly or Drops. There are also paid versions available with for example live classes or online tutors. Examples are Preply, Pimsleur or Babbel. When I was living abroad, I used Duolingo to improve my language skills and to be able to communicate with the locals.
If you speak the language of the country you’re living in, you will feel much more comfortable and confident. Knowing the language will not only help you communicate with the locals, but it will also make it easier to find a job and avoid unexpected difficulties with visas, paperwork, and other things.
2. Make friends among the local youth
If you want to adjust to the new country lifestyle as quickly as possible, you should get to know the local youth. New friends will be happy to help you learn more about the youth scene in the city, show you the best places to relax and have fun and help you learn the language. Most likely, you will meet local youth during your studies or in your living area, but if you want to kick it up a notch, Facebook groups, community centers or sport facilities are great options to meet new people. Almost every city has a Facebook group where events are shared, a community center often already offers fun activities on its own and at a sport facility you can for example take group classes where you also get to know people.
3. Stay up to date
To understand what is happening in the society of your new country make sure to stay up to date. You can do this by watching the local news, read local newspapers or listen to the radio. This will not only keep you up to date, it will also help you improve your language skills. If your local language skills are not that strong yet, you can also like and follow local news broadcasters on Facebook. Sometimes these broadcasters write in English and if not, you can easily translate it yourself with an online translator.
4. Set up your new place of living so that it reminds you of your home
Another tip on how to get used to a new country faster after a relocation, is to set up your new place so that it reminds you of your home. I recommend bringing at least 1 thing from home that gives you fond memories. This could be a picture frame, painting, blanket, figurine or scent. For example, I always took a small photo book of friends and family with me.
You may still need to fully furnish your new apartment or room. When I moved into my apartment in Dubai, I still had to buy my own bedding, kitchen inventory and some other products. By chance, I came across bedding that looked exactly like my bedding from home. So coincidental!
It’s also important that your new place feels cozy and like home. Make sure it smells nice and looks cozy. You can for example, buy some nice houseplants or flowers from a flower delivery service in Dubai or make it cozy with candles and lights. Just imagine how beautiful your new place could be with plants, flowers and candles. I am a real plant person and would definitely miss my plants from home. Even though it will cost you money and you are probably only using it for a short time, it will give you back nice feelings and helps you to feel home.
5. Find common ground with the local lifestyle and community
A person feels most comfortable being in touch with what fits his or her tastes, interests, and hobbies. After moving to another country, try to find things that resonate with your hobbies. For example, if you like music, learn more about local bands and artists or attend concerts and music bars. If you’re interested in art, go to exhibitions and museums, mingle with local bohemians, etc. If you immerse yourself in the life of another country and surround yourself with things that match your interests, adapting to a new environment and integrating into local society will be much faster and more pleasant.
6. Travel and explore the country
To really get to know a country and learn about its culture and history, it’s a good idea to visit different parts of it and see it from different angles. Often students, after moving abroad, don’t leave the city where they study and live. Meanwhile, traveling to the country you moved to can be a great excuse to fall in love with that country, its nature, traditions, and culture. Visit a local travel agency or look online for things to do in your new city. If you have a driving license, it’s even easier! Just use your bike or car (or rent one) and get going!
When I was living in Panajachel, Guatemala, I almost visited every weekend a new town or village in the country. It’s so easy visiting new places when living in a new country. Below you can see some photos of my time in Guatemala.
7. Make plans for your future in your new country
Many students abroad forget that the university years go by more quickly than they may seem. After graduation, you are faced with a difficult choice of jobs, professions, and suitable housing. It is usually more difficult to make these choices when living abroad than at home. If you are living abroad and plan to stay there for the future, try to start your own adult life as soon as possible. Move out of the student dormitory into rented housing, start a part-time job, save money for big purchases, etc. All of this will make you a more independent person, sufficiently integrated into your local community and ready to build your future in the new country.
In conclusion, moving to a new country can be a challenging experience, but with the right mindset and approach, you can adapt and settle into your new country faster. Learning the language, meeting new people, exploring the local culture, finding a routine, staying connected with loved ones, learning the local customs and laws, and being open-minded are all essential in adapting to a new country. By following these tips, I think you can make more out of your new adventure. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below.
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