1. It Is not as Scary as You Think
No one can deny that the process of moving abroad is a terrifying one. Where will you live? Where will you work? How will you make friends? These are just three of the hundreds of questions you’ve probably already asked yourself. Just stop worrying! You will inevitably be nervous before your move, and probably for the first few weeks or months after your relocation — that’s completely normal! No one said expat life was easy, but as you adjust to local life, you’re going to realize that you probably worked yourself up over nothing and that expat life is far less challenging than you thought it would be.
2. You Won’t Be Lonely
Leaving your friends, family and maybe even your partner behind when you move can be terribly upsetting, but don’t let this put you off! While you’re bound to miss your loved ones from back home, you’re also going to make new, caring and irreplaceable friends, who will make your move abroad much more enjoyable.
Always be open to going to new events, trying new hobbies and finding other ways of meeting new people. If you don’t speak the language, try to find expat groups or language classes to meet people who are in the same boat as you. Whatever you do, don’t lock yourself away. Making new friends might be a process you haven’t experienced in a number of years, but any awkwardness will be worth it once you’ve settled in!
3. You Will Adjust to Local Cultures and Habits
Culture shock is a big challenge to overcome when moving abroad. You might find that the locals in your host country are ruder, blunter, or more closed-minded than your friends at home. Dealing with these differences is difficult at first, but you will adjust with time!
Once you do get used to any unusual habits, you’ll find that you become a much more open-minded person and you might even start to prefer certain aspects of everyday life in your new country. Just make sure you don’t shut the locals out just because they don’t welcome you with open arms, or because they act in a peculiar way. Things aren’t going to be the same as back home, but you wouldn’t have moved abroad in the first place unless you wanted a change of scenery!
4. You Will Learn New Skills
Even if you don’t magically become fluent in another language, living abroad is bound to teach you plenty of things about yourself and others. From learning about a new culture and unusual traditions, to improving your cross-cultural communication skills, you will learn plenty and be a better person because of your experience! You should definitely seize the opportunity to learn a new language through evening classes or a tandem partner if you do get the chance, as bilingualism is an invaluable skill. If you don’t feel that your language skills are improving, however, don’t let this put you off living abroad. Be patient with yourself and focus on the skills you have managed to acquire!
5. It Will Enhance Your CV
Moving abroad demonstrates extreme courage and commitment — attributes that every employer is looking for! Your move abroad will prove that you are a good planner, you take advantage of opportunities, and you are not afraid of a challenge. These are all great things to put on your CV.
Furthermore, if you do get a job while abroad, experience of an international office or workplace will make you understanding and appreciative of different cultures and backgrounds. You might also pick up a new hobby or join new groups while living abroad — these are also great additions to your CV and a few reasons among many to pack your bags and head overseas.
6. Homesickness Won’t Be as Overwhelming as You Think
You will inevitably miss home dreadfully as an expat, but it’s easier than you think to keep in touch with your loved ones. Whether you send a hand-written letter, or you make time to video call once a week, the relationships worth having won’t be lost. You’ll also find that you gradually miss your ‘home life’ less and less as you feel more settled, make new friends and establish a routine. You might even get to see your loved ones more than initially expected and even if you’re physically separated from your family and friends, you won’t simply be forgotten about just because you’re living overseas!
7. Everything Will Work out for the Best
‘What if I don’t find a job? What if my boss doesn’t like me? What if I get fired after my first week?’ Stop asking yourself these ‘what if’ questions and trust that what is meant to be will be! It’s most probable that everything will be just fine. You’ll make friends, get a great job and find a cozy apartment quite quickly and eventually you will feel at home in your new country. If things don’t work out and you choose to move home, however, that’s okay, too! At least you tried and did something you have always dreamed of doing — that’s an achievement in itself!
This article was originally posted at: internations.org
Leah Martin is a German and History student from the University of Leeds, currently undertaking a year abroad in Munich and working as the Social Media Intern at InterNations. She loves exploring new areas of Munich and Bavaria and is an avid chef and baker!