Living overseas is sensationally exciting. You have the chance to live as if you’re on a long vacation, exploring a new culture, its cuisine, and its customs.
Living overseas is sensationally exciting. You have the chance to live as if you’re on a long vacation, exploring a new culture, its cuisine, and its customs. But you also need to sink roots and make the place feel like home so that you’re able to live a stable and consistent lifestyle – especially if you have children. In this short guide, we’ll look at some key tips to help you settle into a new life overseas – whether you’ve moved for a work opportunity or you’re just excited to try out a new life away from home.
Establishing a sense of home is an important priority in your first weeks and months in your new country. Things might be dazzling and overwhelming in your new host city, especially if the country you’ve chosen has a different culture from what you’re used to. In those moments when you’re a little overwhelmed by your surroundings, you want to be able to retreat to somewhere safe – and that’s home. Find yourself a quiet place to live, which you can make feel like your own, to have this refuge when you just want to relax as a family.
Making friends in a new country is important. If you don’t, it’s easy to feel isolated and lonely. And the longer you wait to throw yourself into clubs, groups, and communities, the more difficult it will be to come out of your shell to enjoy the culture and the friendships that are waiting to receive you. So, as an early tip, try to make friends before you even leave for your host country by joining social media groups for expats and introducing yourself. You’ll find people who’ve been through what you’re about to be through – and they’ll be ready to welcome you once you step off your flight.
Many families move to a new country with their children. This can be a little disruptive to a child’s way of life, especially if they’re settled with their close friends in your home country. Nevertheless, your kids will likely be excited to start a new life with new friends when you make your move. Help them find ways to stay in touch with their old friends, but also sort out their schooling and help them join clubs in their new home, too. There’s a marvelous British School in Thailand – and there are hundreds of similar international institutions across the world for your kids to learn at.
The sense of belonging you have in a new location tends to creep up on you. You’ll not notice how you’re slowly coming to recognize words in new languages and how you’re walking without any stress for your morning commute. Your children will settle into new friendships, and you’ll have a routine of seeing your own friends, too. This sense of true belonging may take months to fully establish, but as long as you relax and take every day as it comes, you’ll get there. And it’s wonderful when you do.
Use these four tips to help you settle into a new life in a foreign country, making the most of this wonderful opportunity for positive change.