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Eight important tips of surviving in a Foreign country

Happy young African American woman with a beautiful smile relaxing on a sofa in her living room smiling at the camera

You’ll probably be, at some point in your life willingly or not, forced to go live in another country.

This can seem really scary especially if it’s your first time. But worry not, because here are some tips to survive in a foreign country.

1. Keep in touch with your family/friends from home.

It can seem nostalgic but, it’s really comforting knowing that even if physically there are not with you, there is always that bond between you. This will really help when you get homesick.

2. Know that it’s going to be hard

Yes, it’s going to be hard. New house, new restaurants, new friends, new environment and not a single familiar face. It’s going to be difficult but you keep pushing, remembering your goal and always keep in touch with your people from back home, as I said earlier. Just brace yourself.

3. Learn the language

Don’t stress if you can’t master it at first. Learning the language will help you communicate but also, connect with the people. With that, the feeling of being in a foreign country will start to disappear and it will be home away from home.

4. Respect the culture

You are the visitor, not them. Respect their culture, beliefs, food, activities even if you don’t fully understand or agree, you must learn to respect it and take it as an opportunity to learn about other people’s culture.

5. Discover the city and find favourite spots

It may not be the city you grow up in, but you’ll definitely discover spots that will capture your soul. Stand up and discover the city! Make friends, find a new restaurant, jogging/hiking spot.

6. Find something to be a part of

It can be a drama class, church choir, ex-pats fellowship… it will good to be a member of something, not just a foreigner.

7. Learn as much as you can about the country

Even before relocating, do as much research as possible on the country. Simple things like what side of the road they drive, what’s illegal and what’s not, just by knowing that, you can avoid legal issues and make your life easier.

8. The problem in the country is not your problem

Don’t engage in political or cultural debates, and don’t pick sides. You don’t know what they have been through and can’t fully relate. Engage in such debates at your own peril because you may be accused of cultural in-appropriation.

Bonus: Emergency contacts

Dealing with emergencies can be especially hard in a foreign country, however, having emergency contacts, someone or people that can be called upon when you really need them can make everything that much easier. Also, for security purposes, it is always wise to know where your embassy or consulate is and that the embassy is aware you are in the country.

Being in a new country can be overwhelming but, take it as an opportunity to discover and learn more about other culture

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