To leave the country where you have lived your whole life and move to a completely different one can be challenging. It takes a lot of courage and willingness to make this change, but often the need to move to another country is to provide you with a better life quality and new experiences. You can be sure that living in another country will be a unique and fun experience, that will provide you with incredible moments.

Even though this change will give you many different experiences, there are also some challenges that you will face throughout this journey. But don’t worry, because there is nothing you can not face with a little help. That’s why we created this article to help you overcome some of the challenges of living in a foreign country.

Learning the Local Language 

The first challenge you may face, when moving to a foreign country, is the local language, especially if you don’t master it. And this challenge starts as soon as you arrive at the airport, in the country that will be your new home. 

Technology is here to help you and you will always be able to use your faithful mobile phone with excellent translators, but imagine you don’t have an internet connection? It’s always good to resort to something more traditional, like quick notes in our notebook.

In this sense, our advice is to do your homework and prepare, in advance, some sentences that might come in handy. This will not only be good for you, because you will already have some everyday sentences on your sleeve, but also to meet new people who can help you in this adjustment process.

With time and the help of sessions and friends, you will begin to master the local language more and more and, after a few months, you will be able to speak the basics of this new language. This experience is perfect to learn a new language, don’t you agree? By becoming a SPEAK Participant you can join language groups for free and learn the local language in no time! What are you waiting for, click here to join. 

Getting to Know the City 

You’ve moved to a new country and you’re living in a completely different city from the one you’ve always lived in, and now what? It can be quite frightening to move to a new city, where besides not knowing anyone, you also don’t know the best places to eat, to go for walks or even to buy the essential goods.

However, there is no point in generating anxiety because everything in this life is a matter of curiosity. So, our advice is to explore. Take a day to get to know your neighbourhood and what local businesses you have around your home. Leave your house and go on an adventure around the city that is now your new home. Fearless and in the mood to see what’s just around the corner.

Meeting New People

Meeting new people and building new friendships is probably one of the best things about living abroad. In this new city you are a blank canvas, nobody knows you and here you can be whoever you want. But this task is not always easy and can even be quite challenging for some people.

If you are a more introverted person and you don’t like to put yourself out a lot, take this opportunity to break that idea you have of yourself. Challenge yourself and seek new people, without fear. These individuals don’t know who you are or where you came from. 

Besides, it can be quite difficult to survive in a foreign country without establishing bonds. There will be very lonely moments and a friendly shoulder will certainly get you through the difficulties you may face. By joining SPEAK you’ll be able to join events where you can meet people in the city you just moved to! Click here to find out more about our events. 

Feeling the Cultural Shock 

Cultural differences are probably one of the biggest challenges you will face when you move to a foreign country. In addition, for you to adapt to the local language, to the way of living in the new city and to their cultural habits can be a very difficult challenge to overcome.

Simple everyday tasks may become more complicated to accomplish or even commonplaces you used in your home country, may now be misinterpreted. All this because you are in a country with a different culture.

That is why it is extremely important to create new friendships. With the help of other people, whether they are native to that country or going through the same experience as you, the process of adapting to this new culture will be eased. In short: building new friendships is very important in this process ;).

Finding a Place to Live  

We both know the importance of living in a cozy environment and that brings us that feeling of home and not just a temporary place. It is extremely important to feel that we have found a home that meets all our requirements and still provides us with this feeling.

Sometimes it can be a great challenge to find the ideal house in a foreign city. Either because we have a limited budget, or because we want to live in a certain location or even because we want certain criteria to be met. To solve this challenge, I would like to introduce you to Uniplaces

Uniplaces is an online accommodation platform that will help you find a home in Europe, North America and Australia. You will be able to browse through thousands of trusted properties and choose the one that fits all your requirements of the perfect home. After deciding, you can book your home in a fast and safe way, without the need of flying over weeks in advance.

It sounds amazing right? You can now remove this challenge from your list. 😉

Managing your Finances by Yourself 

If, apart from living abroad, you find yourself living alone for the first time, you must prepare to manage your finances efficiently. This is because managing money for essential goods, tuition fees (if you are studying abroad), rent for the house and a few other expenses for leisure, requires some maneuvering.

Surely you don’t simply want to survive in the country where you are living now. You might even want to take a trip around the city or even make some trips to nearby cities or countries. 

That being said, it is quite important that you have control over your finances, as well as keeping track of the money that is coming in and out. This way, you will know what money you still have available to spend and even keep some aside for any trips you may want to take.

Feeling Homesick

Homesick is one of the most typical feelings, after embarking on the adventure of living abroad. It is certain that you will miss your family and friends, and even feel like giving up and going home. But don’t let that feeling keep you away from living this unique experience.

With the technologies available to us today, it’s relatively easy to keep in touch with family members, who are far away. Of course, it won’t be the same, but it’s the best you can do, until you have the opportunity to meet them again. 

You can always use more ancient methods, like sending letters, to get some physical contact with your family. Everything is valid when it comes from a place of love and to keep those you love, closer.

Living in a foreign country may have some challenges, but it is an experience worth living. Don’t let any challenge stop you from living what you want to live, or from going after your dreams. Everything you want to do in life brings its adversities, but believe in yourself and your ability to overcome them. 

Let’s Make These Challenges Yesterday’s Problem

It’s true that living in foreign country can come with its challenges, but it doesn’t have to be this way. By joining SPEAK you’ll be able to meet people in the city you just moved to and learn the local language for absolutely FREE! Because feeling like you belong should not come with a tag.

Author: Sara Guerreiro

Sara is a Portuguese master’s student in marketing that loves to write in her free time. Besides writing, traveling and exploring what the world has to offer is something that she also loves. Her life motto is live now.
Was this post beneficial? If so, you might also benefit from reading "Moving Abroad - 5 Tips."

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