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Everyday there are people from all over the world, packing up their bags and moving overseas to make themselves a new home, and while this is often an exciting time it can also be the cause of a lot of new and unexpected frustrations.
Moving overseas is often difficult, there are new rules to get used to and it takes time to get used to all of the things that are different, so we have provided some tips for those moving away and for local expats to hopefully help them during this challenging time.
Accept that things will be different
When you first move aboard there’s no denying that your daily habits will change. Locals might eat at different times of day or the different weather might affect you. It might also be hard to find your favourite foods. Getting care packages from home can be a comfort, but you might also like to try looking for new treats and activities to enjoy, or hunting through stores to find those things that you miss most about home.
Try to get familiar with your new location
The best way to get over culture shock is to try and familiarise yourself with the local area and how things work. Don’t forget to hold onto your own cultural beliefs and practices too though, as sometimes something as simple as celebrating a cultural event (for instance Christmas overseas where it isn’t celebrated) can help when you’re feeling homesick.
Connect with people in your community
Home is where the heart is, and so it is always important to make local connections. It might be a good idea to find fellow expats, as they will most likely understand the challenges you’re facing and be able to offer helpful advice. By getting to know locals you can also use their knowledge in finding out things about where you are, such as where to go shopping and where to find local amenities.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Relocating overseas can be tough, so the bigger the support network the better. If you get lost then ask someone for directions, or call up family and friends for words of advice. In Australia you can also get in touch with local councils who will be able offer advice about the local area and will often have events and workshops to help new expats settle into their new community.
Are you an expat, or have you been? What did you find were your biggest challenges living abroad?