Moving abroad, seeing the world and enjoying new cultural opportunities is a dream that many people share. With many people looking at immigration right now, hoping to experience something new, it is important to consider the difficulties of living as an expat.
An expatriate, otherwise known as an expat, is a person residing in a country other than their native country.
Whether you move somewhere that you don’t speak the language or a country that shares a similar culture to yours, being an expat can be difficult. With a lack of support from friends and family, culture shock and to navigate a new currency and your finances, there are many challenges to expatriation.
Finding your way through these challenges and dealing with them head on can help you settle in to your expat life. So, although it is an intimidating experience, if you manage to handle the below challenges, you will definitely have a great time living abroad.
Lack of support
When we go through big changes in our lives, we often call on our nearest friends and family to help guide us through and support us. Moving abroad, especially if you move by yourself, can leave you feeling like you don’t have the support you need. Using video chat and social apps can help, but joining local expat meet-ups is one of the best ways to combat this.
Unless you already have a job lined up before you move, it is likely you will be living off saving for a while until you find work. Financial worries can really affect expats in the early days and there is often little local support. Make sure you save enough ahead of time to see you through at least three months.
Adjusting to the culture
Culture shock can be very real, even if you move to a country where they speak the same language as you. Although it is intimidating, getting involved with as much culture as you can will really help you to adjust to the cultural differences in your new home.
This is usually the number one frustration for expats when they first move abroad. Many expats will either speak some of or start learning the language of their new country before they move. However, nuances in dialect can often throw expats and make them feel misunderstood. However, most people are generally kind and will try their hardest to put you at ease and help you grow language skills.
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