Relocating to another country means adapting to a new culture. While many of us have experienced changes at some point in our life’s – relocating is a major change that requires a lot of preparation.
Moving abroad without preparing can make transitioning difficult and lead to culture shock. Getting used to the new culture before you move will help you to have a smooth transition and feel comfortable in your new home.
Here are a few tips to help you to get familiar with a new culture:
If you’re moving to a country where the primary language is different to your own, it’s a good idea to start learning the local language at least 9 months before the move.
Prior to moving enrol yourself in a language class to take lessons. Class room settings are great for this as they allow for interaction. You will be able to practice what you’ve learnt and make new friends at the same time.
It’s important to note that some courses are for travellers, while others are for people who will be living abroad permanently. If possible find a course that is targeted towards moving permanently.
If you are short on time and money look for second hand books, websites, and good language apps that you can download and use on your phone.
The quickest way to adapt to another culture is to experience it. However there are still ways that you can get involved before moving. Attend as many events, festivals and activities as possible.
Most cities have international communities, such as Chinatown or Little Italy that can be explored.
If you can find any upcoming social events or activities, such as visiting a museum, seeing a play or even eating the cuisine this will help you to get a feel for the new culture.
There are many online forums and communities that will help with your cultural research. Speaking to people who are already settled in your new location can provide you with information that will be hard to find anywhere else.
Reading first hand accounts and asking questions will give you a good insight in to your new culture from those who have already adapted to the new way of living.