A lot of people look at foreign lands as their greener pasture. In fact, about 50 million of the world’s population consist of people who have left their homeland to pursue a better life as skilled workers in first world countries such as the US, the UK, Canada and Australia.
And while most who venture to foreign countries do succeed in their goal of finding rewarding employment opportunities, many of them still experience some struggle with their life as expatriates, especially during the first several years.
The most prevalent difficulties expats face are:
● Cultural differences
● Language barriers
If you are immigrating to a new country and will be living the expat life soon, arming yourself with information on how to live well and flourish in a different corner of the globe can ensure that your personal story is one of pure triumph.
Obtaining assistance from the industry experts
Experienced immigration consultants do not only provide hassle-free assistance with the visa enquiry and application process; they also offer helpful guidance with the important aspects of relocating to a different country.
This makes them the ideal company to turn to for help in understanding what to expect regarding the cultural and lifestyle differences you may face. They are more than happy to help you prepare for the life awaiting you abroad.
And for further assistance on preparing for your new life as an expat, rounded up below are some known habits that have helped long-time expats succeed and prosper in a foreign land.
1. Continuously studying the vernacular
Stay consistent and persevering in learning the language spoken in your new country. Your ability to communicate clearly in the local language will make your tasks much easier to accomplish.
With a better grasp of the language:
● You can reduce the number of mistakes you make while going about your day-to-day activities (a period of trial and error is to be expected at the beginning of your journey, after all).
● You can protect yourself from unpleasant situations that could potentially arise due to confusion over words and terms that may turn out to have sensitive meanings in another language.
● Most importantly, forming valuable relationships will become much easier when you can relate better with the locals. You will be able to make friends faster, and may feel less lonely for the people you left behind.
Keep a notebook with you at all times and jot down new terms you pick up; even if you’ve signed up for language classes, there will still be a lot of jargons and slang that will not be covered. Locals are more likely to warm up to you faster when you can speak the way they do.
2. Building sincere friendships
Making the first move to strike up a friendship with the people you meet may take you out of your comfort zone, but making the effort can yield positive results for you.
Being social is essential to settling into a new place, so even if you are shy at first, try to initiate small talk or greet other people you interact with every day. Remember, locals would typically be as curious about you as you are about them. Give them a chance to get to know you better, and vice versa.
Quality human connections can help you feel that your new country is becoming more and more like home over time.
3. Improving and increasing your skills and knowledge
This can benefit not just the career you mean to build; it’s a smart tactic for improving your social life as well.
● Recruitment agencies advise that displaying a culture of learning helps a lot in the transition. By focusing on improving your mastery of your tasks and responsibilities at work, you can find it simpler to ease into the flow of your work routine. At the same time, you establish your value as a good, dependable worker to your employers.
● Keeping yourself busy with extra studies or training can also help take your mind off how homesick you may be feeling. You may meet even more new friends and find it easier to try new experiences.
● Furthermore, when you constantly work to better and increase your skills, you create a sense of continuity for your life. You can have peace of mind that in the event of an uncertainty with your professional position, you have prepared for such a situation by increasing your skills, knowledge and qualifications, and you would be able to look for other possibilities to secure the life you are leading in a foreign country.
4. Creating a routine that works
Routine will put your life in a proper rhythm. Having a set schedule of tasks and errands for each day will make your time more purposeful.
Simple tasks such as going to the store, cooking the day’s meals, cleaning your apartment, putting away excess possessions in a storage facility, and visiting new acquaintances will gradually become second nature to you.
Once you have a regular routine going, it won’t be too challenging to adjust to everything else. Eventually, you will be able to make room for more enriching and fun experiences that could enhance your time outside of work hours.
5. Seeking out experiences that bring joy
● Find enjoyable hobbies
● Set dates for discovery and exploration
● Make time for recreation and entertainment
These deliberate efforts will create a new normal for you. Along with that, you will come to appreciate what your new home offers.
There is no doubt that the life of an expat comes with many significant challenges, but you can easily overcome them if you are deliberate about it. With the right habits, you can adjust well to life in a foreign land and fully recognize it as a true land of opportunities, as well as your home.
Bevan Berning is an Immigration professional and owner of Pathway Visas, an Immigration Agency dealing mostly with skilled immigration to Canada and Australia. Bevan’s enthusiasm for the industry has kept in the Immigration field for the past seven years. Bevan is South African by birth and has been residing in Dubai for the past eight years.