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How to settle into life abroad

When you arrive in a new country, it can be a little daunting. You might not know many people, find yourself working with a language barrier, and may even get homesick. We’re covering a few things you can do to settle into life abroad and make the transition a little easier.

Remember why you’re there

A lot of expats feel homesick when they first move. You might miss your favourite foods, friends, family, or just the ease of having everyone speak the same language. If you feel homesick, try throwing yourself into your new life abroad. Remember all the reasons you moved there, research things you can do and start visiting new places. Ahead of your move, make a list of places to visit and things to do, and when you feel homesick, tick something off the list.

Make connections

Moving to a new place can present many challenges, and one of them can be making friends, especially if there’s a language barrier. Before you move, try involving yourself with online expat communities and make some connections. In these communities, you’ll find people who have already moved and can offer tips on the best places to go and things to try. You might also find nearby people you can meet for coffee when you arrive. If you’re worried about a language barrier or want to surround yourself with other expats, take a look at some of the well-established expat communities.

Be a little fluent

You don’t have to be a linguist but putting some effort into learning the local language can go a long way with the locals. It can also help you a lot if you’re in an area without many English speakers. It’s not just the language you can learn either; try practising some of the traditions and customs, so you fit into the culture better as well. Do your research so you don’t accidentally do something that might offend the locals too. For instance, if you leave a tip in a hotel or restaurant in Japan, it can be seen as degrading. Smiling at strangers in Russia can come across as insincere as it’s meant to be an intimate gesture. Asking someone their occupation in the Netherlands can be seen as rude or classist. And in France, it’s always essential to greet someone with a ‘Bonjour’ to say hello.

If you’re thinking of moving abroad and want to discuss your currency requirement with one of our Dealers, contact us on +44 (0)20 7989 0000.