(3 min read)
Living abroad is a time full of fun, entertainment, new places, different food, a new language, and a new culture!But there is also the other side of the coin and I'll tell you 5 of the challenges that most students have when moving abroad.
1. Learning a new language
Not necessarily but let's say that your dream destination is Spain or Costa Rica and all you know in Spanish is “¡Hola! ¿Cómo estas?”. That's sweet but it won't be enough in case you are planning to live in this country and you will have to improve your language skills. Even if you are moving to an English-speaking country, your accent will identify you as a newcomer. The best course of action is to prepare in advance and start practicing the new language by watching TV shows in this language, switching your phone’s language settings or take some extra language courses.
2. Adapting to a new culture
The country you are moving to will be definitely culturally different. Even if you speak the language pretty fluently you might not get some jokes of your local peers. Some researches say that it takes up to 3 years for expats to embrace and fully understand the culture of the new home. This understanding and acceptance comes slowly with time. It is also important not to lose your own culture and don't forget your traditions while trying to introduce to the new society.
3. Starting over
This includes: a new place to live, new neighbours, finding new friends, finding a new job, or studying in a new college/university. Moving abroad is a fresh start but it also means starting all over from scratch. No big deal if you have just graduated or finished school and feeling free to work anywhere. Nevertheless, for those who have made some carrier achievements this will be a difficult challenge. This new country might have different regulations, laws and demands. If you are a doctor, lawyer or engineer you most probably will need to start all over.
Moving abroad might be expensive in most cases. Depending pretty much on where you are moving FROM and TO. If living costs in your destination country are higher than in your home country then here are a couple of tips.
There are 2 possible options to overcome money challenge prior arrival. Firstly, start saving as early as possible and find a way to work for at least part time in the destination country. For instance, if you go to study to Canada for more than 6 months, you are allowed to work part-time (20 hours per week) and it’s not difficult to find a part-time job in the customer service industry or any entry level position on other fields. You can even start looking for a job before arrivinh with all this networking websites.
Secondly, find a way of making money with no attachment where you live: work remotely, freelance, or organize passive income.
5. Being far from your friends and family
It could be pretty challenging for both you and your family members or friends that you are moving abroad. Especially, if you are very close with them. However, the experience of many expats living, studying, or working abroad shows that true friends will always stay in touch and relationships with your family sometimes might even improve. There is no more room for little daily arguments and misunderstandings and sharing time is more precious. Actually, families value and appreciate that short time when they see each other even more than ever before.
Also, Skype and Face Time will help tremendously.
If all these challenges are not that crazy for you then go ahead! Try, research, learn, ask and find out the destination and the city where you want to start a completely new life!
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