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By Sabina Livia
Starting from scratch is always difficult, especially if you are trying to do it a foreign environment. But with a little determination you will find yourself settling in virtually over night.
Start by unpacking all your things and trying to make your house feel like a home. Put up a photo of your loved ones, a souvenir to remind you of home, anything that makes you feel comfortable.
The language barrier may prove itself as quite the obstacle from the very first day. But if you don’t make the effort to connect with those around you, you will feel like an outcast for the entire time that you’re there. If you have the time, try to learn the language step by step, in the evenings or on breaks. Ask others to correct you while you’re speaking. Listen to music, watch videos or films in your host country’s language. If you’re diligent, you will find yourself speaking fluently in no time. Some countries offer foreign students and workers free language classes, so look into this as well. You also have to be diligent when it comes to paying your monthly dues: lodging, meals, phone bills, and so on. You don’t want to find yourself indebted in a foreign country.
In some cases, social life in your new country may be very different from what you were used to back home. Locals may not be used to staying up late clubbing or, on the contrary, might enjoy the nightlife more than you do. Although at a first glance this might not seem like an issue, you will have to fit in with these new customs in order to feel like you belong. Setting up rendezvous with your co-workers or colleagues will help you bond better and faster with those around you. Every nation has its own traditions and every population has their particular way of behaving or reacting. Spending as much time as you can with the locals will help better understand these particularities and, in time, they will become second nature.
Take long walks through your city. In this way, you’ll become accustomed to your new surroundings in no time and you might even stumble upon some neat places you might have otherwise never known about. Try to set up a routine: work or study in the mornings and afternoons, a nightcap in the evening with your new friends, and sightseeing on the weekends. This is the perfect balance between business and pleasure and, by doing this, you can make sure that you keep yourself busy and active.
Regardless of how much you are enjoying your experience of living in a foreign country, there will come a time when you will feel homesick. Try to push through these times and think about what you are trying to accomplish. Also, make sure you’re always in contact with those back home who matter the most.
Similarly, shops and public transportation may not have the same schedule as they did in your native country. For example, in certain countries, shops aren’t open on Sundays, nights, or during lunch hours. Learning these differences early on will help you better manage the new lifestyle.