Living Abroad and Acclimating to a New Community

By Rhiannon Davies Published on 14th November 2007 .

Living Abroad and Acclimating to a New CommunityIf you have decided to expatriate abroad for a short while or even for the long haul, you are no doubt entering into one of the most exciting and fascinating periods of your life.  Living in a strange land, learning about the culture, navigating the world and seeing new sights is terribly appealing to many.  Getting along well once you arrive, however, will likely depend on how quickly you acclimate to your new environs.

Even if you are moving to a country where they speak the same language and share many of the same customs and traditions, it is hard not to feel like a stranger in a strange land.  Learning the ropes of fitting in doesn’t have to be impossible.  In this article we’ll take a look at living abroad and acclimating to a new community and we’ll highlight some tips that can help you no matter where you decide to hang your hat.  From Belize and Canada to France and Dubai, when the right steps are taken, expats can feel a part of the community in no time.

No matter your country of choice, your first priority should be getting a lay of the land.  Find out where to shop, where to see movies and even where to obtain medical assistance if it is ever required.  Beyond this, learn some of the language if necessary and study up on local customs and traditions.

After you’re settled a bit and feel a tad more at home, you’ll find the next steps involve actually getting to know people.  Beyond meeting local grocers, you’re going to need to make friends and acquaintances to really feel at home.  Some of the best tips for doing this include: -

Get active.  Do your part to become a part of your new community by getting active and involved.  Take a class at a local school.  Considering joining a sporting team.  Join a club.  Whatever it takes to get out of your home and actually meet other residents, do it!

Get a job.  Even if you’re retiring, if a part-time position is available and you’re eligible, this is a wonderful way to get out of the house and learn more about the people and culture.  Who knows … you might even make some wonderful friends along the way.

Give of yourself.  Volunteering is a fantastic way to make friends, meet people and change lives.  Get involved in a local or international organisation and give of your time.  Few volunteers are ever sorry they got involved.

Take the time to meet your neighbours.  Go out of your way to introduce yourself to the people who live around you.  This is an excellent way to feel more at home and feel connected to your new community.

It does not matter if you intend to move to Turkey or plan on setting up house in Ireland, expatriating is only as successful as the effort expats put into it.  If really getting along well and fitting in is your desire, put yourself out on a limb to get involved when living abroad.

Rhiannon Davies's photo

Rhiannon Davies

Rhiannon is the Publishing Director at Shelter Offshore. With extensive experience as a technical author, Rhiannon's expat life began in Frankfurt with Deutsche Bank. Later as a freelance writer she was able to realise her ambition of living in some of the World's most beautiful locations.

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