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Tips For Adapting to Life in A New Country, Including Language Learning and Cultural Norms

one. Like concerns over how you fit into new surroundings. In addition to worries about leaving friends behind in their home country.

The best way to adapt is to meet new friends who can share their experiences living in a new country. Here are some ways to overcome your doubts and fears.

Learning the Language will make your new life easier

Learning the language of your new country will make your life a lot easier. There’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to converse with locals because of the language barrier. Life can become harder to get things done, order food, drive in a taxi etc. Your social life is limited to only talking with people who understand you.

There are a few ways you learn the local language and meet others. You can use phone apps like Duolingo or join a group of ex-pats who are in the same situation as you. The advantage here is you can socialise and make friends too. The best is to practise saying simple words and phrases. This will give you more confidence to talk to locals. 

Lastly, YouTube is a great source, with many language professionals posting language lessons online.  Here you can learn in your own time. Don’t be shy to mess up your pronunciation. The best way to learn anything is through mistakes.

You will miss out on a lot if you don’t attempt to learn the local lingo. It’s lots of fun and laughs.

Join a community to socialise

The first thing most ex-pats do is join city clubs and social groups to meet other like-minded ex-pats. Often, these clubs and social groups have local members too.  This is a good time for you to ask questions and help you make your stay more comfortable. Most cities have ex-pat and local clubs you can join. You can find them on google and in Facebook groups.

Cultural Norms

Some cultures are more intricate than others. It’s best to know more about the culture to avoid embarrassment.  This can take time to immerse into and get to know the local culture. The good news is that most people are forgiving. Provided they know you have the best of intentions. 

It’s a good idea to read up on the cultural norms of your destination country before you leave. In particular, you should look up how people greet and interact with each other and how to say please and thank you. It’s also good to look up what not to say and do to prevent offending anybody. 

However, while you should adapt to the cultural norms of your host nation, it’s OK to seek out people with a similar cultural background to yourself. Many locations worldwide have ex-pat communities consisting of people from around the world. This includes your country or other countries with similar cultures to your own. 

The weather in the region

Some people struggle in different climates. If the weather is too hot or cold it can be uncomfortable to live in. However, there are some steps that you can take to help limit your exposure and hopefully adapt to it over time. 

One of the most important factors behind a comfortable stay is having comfortable accommodations. And the good news is that you won’t usually have to spend much on something comfortable. Most locations have modern buildings with air conditioners in hotter climates.

Other tips include arranging your day to help you avoid the most severe weather. For example, if you’re struggling with the heat in a tropical climate, try going out in the early mornings or late afternoons and avoid midday. Regardless, most people will find they can adjust to the change in time. 

The local Food  

Food is an integral part of most cultures. Most restaurants and food halls serve popular local dishes. Some you may like while others do not. You are most likely to order food that’s familiar to you rather than try ones that aren’t. Many westerners don’t like hot spicy food. 

The good news is, you don’t have to eat the local cuisine all the time. Most supermarkets stock fresh vegetables, meats and popular western foods. So, you can eat just like you did in your home country. Alternatively, well-known brands like MacDonalds, Pizza Hut and KFC are also present in most countries.

It’s a good experience to try the local cuisine. You can also experiment with cooking it at home.

Your location

Which part of the city you are located in can also make a difference to travel times. Big cities can be intimidating and crowded, which some people will struggle with. However, large cities also tend to have all you need, including restaurants, shopping malls, and entertainment centres. Striking a balance of what your needs are is the answer.

However, things can be different if you are staying in a rural location. Here, the pace of life will likely be slower, which can be a benefit or negative depending on who you are. Regardless, you should expect to find fewer people who speak your language and fewer amenities, potentially making it harder to settle in.

If you need more information on settling into a new country, our team at Harrow International school will be happy to help. Feel free to get in touch with us. We will be delighted to answer any questions you might have. Adapting to life in a new country is a daunting task. Not only is the landscape different. The language, people, culture and weather are too. Many people find it hard to accept their new surroundings and tend to compare everything with their home country.  

However, as exciting or daunting as it might be, adapting to life in a new country can also be a scary