In this article, you will learn about how expatriates can adjust to their new county by learning about the local culture, make friends and adapt to their new surroundings. We have put together five tips for expatriates who want to learn how to live abroad like the locals.
- Learn the Language
Expatriates will find that learning the local language is crucial when trying to immerse themselves in another country and culture. Once you start to speak the local language, the locals will start to open up to you. It is not just a way of communication, it shows your respect to the local culture. Don’t struggle to become fluent. Try to start with some basic greeting expressions – as long as you try, that’s all that counts. You can get assistance with learning a language from a variety of online resources, such as Babel. Others will take language classes before and after moving abroad. However, there is no substitute for diving right in when you move to your new location. The less you use your native language, the faster it will be before you are conversing with the locals over a cup of espresso. Finally, it is important to learn the local customs of your destination country to avoid embarrassment and better integrate into the culture.
- Making Connections
Many expatriates may tend to make friends with other expats of similar background, especially if they are going to local expat pubs and gatherings. However, it is a good idea to try to make some local friends as well. It may be difficult at first, but having a few trusted local friends will enrich your expat experience and will help you adapt the cultural differences. Don’t expect to feel immediately accepted and comfortable in your new environment, but try to be open and friendly.
- Immerse Yourself in the Local Culture
There could be many elements to make you feel that you are a foreigner, no matter in your daily life or at work. In order to get involved in the local culture, expatriates are encouraged to go out and attend local events such as colleagues’ party, high tea with your new neighbor, etc. These important social interactions will make you want to explore the new culture and keep the curiosity about the destination country.
- Integrate Into Local Community
Some expat experts recommend that you try to live like the locals and integrate into local communities. As an expatriate, you have a lot to contribute such as volunteering and sharing your skills and experience at local educational institutions. It is also encouraged for expats to keep their hobbies while living abroad. If you are fond of painting, then join a local artist club; If you love sports, you can join a sports team. Once you obtain local connections and a group of friends, you will start to enjoy the expat life.
- Eat Like the Locals
Enjoying food with new friends is one of the best ways to break the ice. That’s why we recommend that you try the authentic local cuisine at restaurants. If possible, avoid the familiar chain restaurants that you visit in your home country. When shopping at local grocery stores, try to imitate the shopping list locals make and buy locally produced food.
How to Handle Health Care When Living Abroad
To stay healthy and fit while living and working abroad, there are many health risks that you want to avoid. To better plan and prepare a safe and rewarding journey before departure, one of the most important considerations is international health insurance. Expat Financial offers independent advice, solutions and excellent service and support to clients around the world and we have extensive experience in sourcing medical cover for individual expats.