How To Thrive In A New Country

Real life is very different from those glossy advertisements.

Moving in to a new city or a new country can be an unnerving experience. Starting from scratch comes with uncertainties. If you are someone who’s been planning on studying, working or residing in a new country when the border is reopen, chances are you will meet with some surprises along the way. No one can predict what lies ahead. But with preparation and a good strategy in place, you can make the transition a lot smoother.

If you’re going to overseas, obviously, you don’t just show up at the airport with your suitcases and a dream. Psych yourself up, once you’ve arrived at the destination, you’re at the point of no return, at least for the duration of your intended stay.

Whether you land in a new country as an expat, an overseas student or an immigrant, below is a short list of things to look out for when choosing a new place to live:

  1. If you are relative new to the city, it’s best if you choose a furnished apartment at first and make sure it’s close to public transport and shops.
  2. If your family is staying with you, make sure you are there for each other and watch out for possible signs of mental health especially when things get tough.
  3. If you are bringing kids along, time carefully. Make sure they don’t miss out on schooling for too long.

Having been living in Australia for over 30 years, I’ve seen many people come and go. Everyone is different and various factors can come into play. I have concluded 3 common deal breakers:

The number one deal breaker is: The language barrier.

It can make or break your chances of survival. If you come from a non-English speaking background, it’s so important to gain a working knowledge of the new language beforehand. To make your life easier in new surroundings, at least you need to know what to say when you shop.

The number two deal breaker is: Unemployment.

If you don’t have a regular source of income to rely on, you will feel the crunch. It’s important to give yourself a realistic expectation when it comes to landing a job. A good question to ask yourself is: Are you able to support yourself in the next 6 months under these circumstances? If the answer is No, then you will need to have a plan B or even a plan C.

The number three deal breaker is: Personal reasons.

Some new comers still feel out of place or displaced after a few years. I found this to be true particularly among the older generations. Perhaps they have problem adjusting to the weather, the lifestyle, the food or the culture.

All in all, moving in to a new country is like living a life in the fast lane. It can present many opportunities to you. But bear in mind, it’s not a one way ticket nor a one way road. Give yourself time. If it doesn’t work out for you at the end, know you have options. Feel free to change to the slower lane or make an u turn. You can start somewhere again…

2 Replies to “How To Thrive In A New Country”

  1. I think the most important message of this post is that you can always start over again. Rarely are your decisions ever final. As someone who’d worked overseas—and also travelled a lot for short assignments—I can say that it can be unnerving indeed. Thanks for this great post!

    Liked by 1 person

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