A Beginner’s Guide to Living Abroad

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Amidst the excitement and anticipation for the adventure on which you are about to embark, moving to a country far from home can also be a daunting experience. But it’s part of the adventure, here are a few simple rules which will be invaluable and make the transition as smooth as possible!

Things will go wrong – but that’s OK!

Even with all the foresight and planning in the world, you’re going to come up against things that will go wrong. Maybe your visa process isn’t going too smoothly or trying to open a bank account seems like trying to break the Enigma code. Though these things can be frustrating, it’s all part and parcel of the relocation process. Approach these glitches with a sense of humour, and in a few months you’ll look back fondly and realise that these challenges are the most rewarding things about your experience.

Do your research

Before you move to a place, and even upon arrival, it’s a great help to do your homework. If you arrive there knowing a little about the history and culture, and even what you’ll need to do to get an apartment or mobile phone contract, then these things aren’t as surprising when you actually arrive. It might sound trivial but even knowing a little information can make you feel more at ease when you are in a totally new environment. Remember, knowledge is power!

Learn the basics of the local language

You don’t need to leave the arrivals hall being some kind of polyglot, but the knowledge of a few basic phrases will help you feel more at home in no time. ‘Please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘I would like’ are sure to be the first and most essential phrases you’ll need. Of course over time your knowledge of the local language will develop, but getting a head start is always a way to ease the transition.

Remember that imperfections are beauty

Even when you love your new job, new city and new friends, there are bound to be things which are different. Sometimes these cultural, social and bureaucratic variations in comparison to home can be challenging. Simply understanding that these things are not personal, and using it as an opportunity to learn, can help you relax. So don’t see them as a barrier, sit back, enjoy the ride and embrace the madness that surrounds you!

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