Thinking about working abroad but not sure whether you’ll survive being even a month away from home?
Oh, wait! Wouldn’t it be better if you don’t only survive, but also enjoy the experience?
Buckle up and get ready for take-off as I share a few tips and tricks that will help you create the best experience abroad!
First of all, you need to understand that working and living abroad is not the same as holidaying. Even though you had a culturally inspiring walk through La Rambla, Barcelona or the best shopping spree at the Kalverstraat, Amsterdam; working and living abroad is a whole other ball game.
Not only are you creating a comfortable life for yourself in a different culture. You’re expected to adjust to a new environment, while you perform in your career.
So is it possible to successfully integrate yourself into a new culture?
Well… perhaps the first couple of weeks or months you’ll feel like a fish out of water. However, the overall experience completely depends on you. Here’s what you need to do:
- Become a local
When in a new environment, the first thing we tend to do is draw ourselves to things we’re familiar with. It’s a natural thing and therefore completely normal. However, in order to successfully live and work in a new environment, you are required to daily step outside of your comfort zone. Moving was step one, adjusting will be step two.
Be open to learning new things and make an effort to meet people outside of the workplace. Connect with the locals and fully immerse yourself into their culture. If you need to learn the language, make sure you do so. Basically, get the local customs down to a tee.
- Don’t stop doing what you love to do
Whether you were part of a football club, choir or community service group, make sure that’s what you continue doing. One of the things that will keep you going while living and working abroad, is to not stop doing what you love to do.
- Know when to recharge yourself
Everyone who has stayed abroad for a long period of time has probably experienced this. When living and working abroad, it’s important to understand and know when you’re experiencing your ‘low’. Everyone’s ‘low’ (or feeling down moment) is different and hits at different times. Mostly this varies from being homesick to work-life balance issues.
Using myself as an example… Every 3 – 4 months (at least), I had to visit my family and friends back home. That’s the time when I recharged myself and made sure I ate all my favourite Dutch dishes lol. Unfortunately, you can’t always avoid the ‘low’ moments, however, being able to identify what you should do when those moments hit will make the journey more pleasant – Enjoy your stay abroad!