People have been moving around since the dawn of time, far before we established defined national borders, and have continued to do so even after that. Moving to a new country, to a new environment, has always been a very exciting thing. Different people, cuisine, a bit of adventure and suspense of what is about to come.
Of course, some people are not so keen on traveling and moving but have to do it because of a job opportunity, following a loved one or, unfortunately, being forced out of their home. Whatever the case, everyone needs to prepare for the said journey and adapt when they reach their destination, and here are some of the things that need to be considered when moving to a new country.
Prepare Your Luggage
All those embarking on any journey inevitably need to carry some stuff with them. Sometimes it can only be spare clothes for a day and a few sandwiches, but when preparing for something as large as moving countries - that is an entirely different thing. Consider that you might never return to your previous home and that you will need to pack not only essentials but valuables and sentimental ones too.
Under essential things to carry are first and foremost things you will need on the voyage itself: documents, money, food, and clothing. Some may want to pack books or magazines to read along, but that is not the issue here. Valuables also include money, but also any savings you have that are not easily liquified, such as jewelry and family heirlooms that are usually hidden away in safe places. Things with sentimental value are usually last on the list, but it is nice to have at least a photo album of your past life and home with you when you go.
Get In Touch With Officials
Even before moving abroad, you will have to contact some sort of official body of your destined country to regulate your position there. Sure, if you’re visiting briefly as a tourist most countries don't make a fuss about it, but anything longer and you have to get new documents, etc. Fighting through all the forms of education and migration services might be more complex than you think, so hiring a company to do it for you might be worthwhile to get everything done on time. After all the possible preparations one has for such a life-changing experience it would be a shame to be stopped just because of some bureaucracy.
Learn The Language
English is the most widely spoken language today, it has become the lingua franca of the modern world. But still, the vast majority of people on the planet do not speak it, especially not as a mother tongue. Whatever your background may be, you should try and adapt to your new surroundings by at least learning the local language.
Courses for beginners usually last a few months before someone is ready to actually engage in conversations to some extent, though the most successful, albeit hardest, way is to be dropped in an environment where you are isolated from your own language and have to adopt the new language quickly in order to function at all.
Socialize in the New Environment
Once you arrive, make sure to actually make yourself known to and with the new environment, and not to end up in a sort of “social bubble” with a few family and friends who might have come with you too. People who do not properly integrate into the new society will have a harder time learning the language (even if it’s just a dialect of your own!) and making a career later on.
A few great ways of socializing, made a lot easier with social media, is by joining sports clubs or hobby groups that you had an interest in back at your previous home. You will be able to make a connection to other members first, based on that common interest, and later they can show you how authentic local culture looks like.
Don’t Forget to Call Home!
Unless you had to escape some bad situation and want to completely forget about that part of the past - staying in touch with your previous life is a good thing. For starters, there are probably people who care about you back there and it would mean a lot to them if you send some kind words so they know you remember them.
Also, remembering your “roots” might make you appreciate your new home better, as you will have a comparison of two worlds, where the new one is probably full of potential and is not weighted down with the traditions and debts of the old one, a place where you can make a new life for yourself - more to your liking than the past one.
If Moving Because of Education…
Keep in mind that international schooling is becoming more and more popular and that if you know more than one language fluently you have a high chance of scoring a good degree in almost any developed country in the world.
Many young people move countries because of higher education and they usually stay to form their careers in those said countries. While this may be a great emotional and financial burden for their families back home, remember that, if you count yourself among those youth, with hard work and dedication you will have a chance to repay yourself many times over.
Keep Finances in Order
And not wanting to make anyone feel uneasy but - moving countries is very expensive. Not only the traveling costs but shipping your belongings, getting paperwork done, quitting an old job and looking for a new one, finding suitable new lodging… All of this can be extremely costly and can lead you to start life in a new country embedded with debt if not careful.
So pay close attention to your expenses during this period, especially when exchanging currencies! It may still be called a dollar, but after spending a few hundred or thousands of them - it can leave quite a hole in your savings account when the national currencies differ.
This adventurous project of changing countries can and should be done with joy and elegance. Of course, there will be trouble while doing it, forgotten things, and sad goodbyes, but that is all part of life, and few things are as life-changing as this.