Some of us go abroad for studying, working or perhaps when following our life partner to their homeland. Some of us like to travel far and long to discover unfamiliar corners of the world. Reasons for leaving a home country are many but they all have connecting elements, not all of them necessarily being pleasant and commonly talked about – cultural shock, loneliness, even depression can hit once you root yourself out of the familiar land and try to plant yourself in a new geographical and cultural environment.
Recently, we held a live-stream on our Facebook page in which we talked about how to tackle or even prevent these undesirable feelings, how to overcome a fear of the unknown, and enjoy your adventure to the fullest.
For those of you who prefer reading to watching the stream, we present a summary of the content:
- The first thing to do when considering relocating abroad is to read a bit about the country and learn more about its history, politics, culture, and religion in order to prepare oneself for what to expect in general.
- Acknowledge the reason why you are moving to that country. Is it for vacation, studying, or working? In any case, you should get prepared in a different way.
- Get in touch with other expats that are already in that specific country. Ask them for tips like good neighborhoods where to find an apartment, which are the safe areas, or the ones closer to the city center.
- Once there, try to establish new connections with people. The sense of community gives you that comfortable and supportive feeling and certainty that you are not alone. The more the merrier 🙂
Get informed about the transportation system before you arrive.
- Investigate the transportation system. Many cities such as Brno have a great one, which makes it pretty easy to navigate.
- There is a high chance that you’ll end up in a country with a different currency than the one you are used to. So, get familiar with the local currency in advance to be confident while handling money in general. Also, it’s better to check the exchange rates beforehand so that you won’t get scammed.
- Check the weather. The relocation country might have a completely different climate than what you’re used to. You want to avoid arriving into unfamiliar weather conditions completely unprepared.
- Don’t take for granted that air conditioning is a common part of the equipment in all houses in all countries. In the Czech Republic, for example, it is still quite rare to find an apartment with an A/C. So if you know you really can’t stand the heat during summertime, devote more time and energy to finding an apartment that is equipped with an A/C.
- On the other hand, apartments in Czechia are all well equipped with reliable heating to ensure cozy temperature during wintertime. There is a low chance you end up feeling cold indoors.
- Try to think of such accommodation that suits your needs best. Whether that is a shared apartment or a private one, in a busy city center or somewhere green and quiet. Take into account whether you are more of an introvert or an outgoing person, what your hobbies are, and what kind of lifestyle you prefer.
Taking strolls through a new city will help you feel at home in the new place quicker.
- Keep in mind the language barrier – even if you feel like you understand the other party, double and triple-check, rather than assume what they wanted to say (or if they understood what you wanted to say).
- People in smaller towns might seem distanced and difficult to approach. They are not used to tourists/foreigners. So be prepared for that, too. Be smiley and patient with people and things will get better in no time.
- The eating times might differ from country to country.
- Bring with you stuff that you like, because you might not be able to find them where you are heading, like specific types of food or spices that you don’t want to give up.
- You might find yourself missing some of your old habits or traditions that you had back home. In this case, why not try and maintain them even in a new country. Or go ahead and carve yourself some new ones.
- Keep up with the hobbies you had back at home. Having a familiar routine helps to get used to living in a new place.
Our live-stream speaker Veronika has been working with foreigners for about six years.
- If you feel sad or anxious, try to keep yourself occupied. You can start by writing down your thoughts, or by drawing, singing, or exercising. Don’t try to suppress your feelings, face them instead. Acknowledge and embrace that emotion. That’s the best way to overcome it.
- You may discover traditions in a foreign country, which you might find strange, or which might result in you getting in an awkward position. If that happens, don’t be afraid to speak up and ask what is going on. Discussion is always the key to solve any misunderstandings.
- Be prepared and willing to get out of your comfort zone. From now on, for a while, all will depend on you and only on you. It might get difficult. But you can bet that you are going to become a stronger and more experienced person.
We keep bringing you engaging live-streams about expat-related topics. Follow our Facebook page to stay updated.
Do you want to relocate to the Czech Republic? Just contact us!
Photo source: Daikou Maria