Moving abroad is an amazing experience that brings with it many positives – but it isn’t always easy. There are some challenges that you will have to face when you are living abroad, some that will test your skills and patience and push you outside of your comfort zone.
So what are the most difficult parts of living abroad? Here are some of the biggest challenges of living abroad – as well as some tips for facing them.
Finding a Job
One of the major challenges of working abroad is finding a job overseas, if you're not already moving for work. You'll make arrangements for Skype or phone interviews before you arrive and present your skills and experience to potential employers.
To be successful when looking for a job, it is important to do your research to find out more about the job search customs of the country where you are moving to. That may mean you’ll need to apply for the correct visa and format your CV in a different way.
Coping with Initial Loneliness
When you first move overseas it is common to not know anyone or have a group of friends to hang out with, so you might feel a little bit lonely and out of place. This can be difficult and can make you feel sad and isolated at the beginning, but it is just temporary.
It is important to use Skype, social media, email and good old fashioned phone calls and letters to stay connected to your friends back home. Also, the key is to get out there and make new friends so that you won’t be lonely in your new home for very long.
Join clubs based on your interests, visit a newcomers or expat event, introduce yourself to your neighbours, go out on a Friday with your co-workers and put yourself in lots of social situations so that you can easily make new friends.
The Language Barrier
When you move abroad, you might be moving to a country, where a different language is spoken. This is a challenge and learning to speak another language is never easy. Start off with a few basic phrases that will help you get around, then study a little bit every day to learn more.
Even moving to the UK from America comes with linguistic challenges. There is nothing you cannot handle with help from friends and the internet these days.
Don’t be afraid to practice speaking at any opportunity you get and don’t be worried about making a mistake and saying something wrong. Accept that you are bound to make a fool of yourself sometimes, but it’s all part of the learning experience. You’ll be fluent sooner than you think and have some great stories!
Another one of the challenges of living abroad is adjusting to another culture. Sometimes it can be overwhelming, tiring and confusing because nothing is familiar and you are having to adjust to a completely different way of doing things.
Be prepared for culture shock by leaving your assumptions at home and not expecting things to be a certain way. Be open minded and patient and accept things as they are… eventually you will become accustomed to a new way of living.
These are just a few of the major challenges that you will have to face when you make the decision to live abroad. Yet they are not insurmountable and if you approach them with the right attitude you will be able to enjoy your time abroad.
Moving abroad can be difficult at times, but the experience of living in another culture is extremely worth it, trust us.