Moving abroad is an exciting adventure. You get to meet new people, explore new areas, and maybe even learn a new language.
However, expat life can also be a shock to your system if you’re not prepared. Our guide to health and happiness offers the tips you need to keep yourself on track in your new home.
If you’ve found relocating to a foreign country stressful or scary, you’re not alone. It takes time to make friends in a new place, and this may leave you feeling isolated or lonely. However, there’s plenty you can do to build yourself a support network:
Join a sports club or gym.
Find out if there is an expat group where you live.
Speak to your neighbours or invite them over.
Get involved in community events.
Talk to the locals when out and about.
Ask your new colleagues to give you a tour of the area.
Find out if your company or human resources department has an Employee Assistance Program as a source of support.
It’s also important to keep in touch with your friends and family at home. Sharing your new adventure with the people you love will help you to feel connected. Try to get into the habit of writing regular emails or letters, making video calls and updating your social accounts.
According to one online poll from the UK, British expats are happier than their counterparts who still live in Britain. That said, it’s natural for expats to feel stressed or low at times. If you do find yourself struggling with your emotions, speak to someone about it. This could be a new friend, a relative back at home or even an HR manager. You may find that talking through your feelings may be enough to boost your mood.