“Difficult times often bring out the best in people.”
Living abroad is not an easy thing to do. There are so many things we have to prepare before moving in. Moreover, we have to know where to go, who to call, and how to handle a situation that might be unpredictable. On the advertisement, it seems easy and lots of fun. It’s actually easy and lots of fun, but there are so many things behind the scene that’s not simple. Based on my experience, I’m about to write down about things that you have to know before moving abroad. Whether you’re thinking to live abroad or are going to move abroad soon, it’s better to be aware of several things.
It’s not as easy as it seems
It’s not as simple as it seems going to be. You will most likely get lost in the airport, couldn’t find the person that’s going to pick you up or can’t find which transportation you’re going to use. Moreover, you need to carry your luggage that definitely is not light. Don’t panic, because you will find a way. However, it’s better to be prepared, both mentally and physically.
No matter how open minded you are, prepared for “culture shock”
To be fair, I’m a very open minded person. I don’t categorize people based on their background. I personally think all human is the same. We were born equal and given this life to live. I also like to learn new things, experience different cultures, and stuff. So, I wasn’t supposed to have a culture shock. However, I had a culture shock. Even only for a short period of time, but I did experience that. It wasn’t like a huge culture shock for me, but there are things that I didn’t expect would happen – that happened. Something we think like “Oh in country A people are like this. In country B people are like that. This country C wouldn’t be a problem with me because the way I think and the way I live my life is the same with them.” – but actually, it’s not 100% true. There are things that we can’t really see or expect. Thus, my advice is, no matter how open minded you are, prepared for culture shock, because there are things that we don’t really know until we started living our life the way locals do.
This might seem simple, but actually, it’s not. Related to what I said earlier, food is one of the culture shocks. We might think “Oh that’s fine, I like this food, I get used to eating this food.” – but there will be a period of time when you get sick of the food. It’s not because we don’t like the food, it’s because our tongue might not familiar with the local food. If we have to eat it every day, there’s a high possibility that you will miss the food from your country. Therefore, it’s better to prepare by learning how to cook your traditional dishes or bring stuff that you need, such as the ingredients of the dishes.
You can’t rely on anyone or anything
You are going to be your “911” call. Especially if you’re about to moving in alone, don’t think that you could just ask someone to take care all the stuff. Yes, there are people that going to help you, but you can’t rely on them. What I’m saying is, it’s very important to be independent when you live abroad. Don’t expect that there will be someone or some institutions that are going to solve things for you. They might help, but only about 10% – 50% – the rest of it, you have to take care of yourself.
If you are about to move to a country that speaks different language with you, definitely you have to learn the language. I’m pretty sure that everyone who’s going to live abroad already fluent in a language of a specific country that they are going to live. However, you have to know that it’s going to be more challenging than what you expect. When I moved to the United States of America, I didn’t find any difficulty to speak or listen or others stuff in English. Thus, I was so confident when I’m about to move to the United Kingdom. It turns out, I was confused. When I came to England for the first time, my English is going down from 97% to 70%. Yes, there are several differences. Even if it’s the same language, but because of the locals are different – it makes it different. The way people talk, the accent, what I have to listen, the vocabulary. I grew up with American English so it was a bit confusing to me when I had to write an essay in England. Some of the vocabulary I used doesn’t fit because it was an American English. Thus, I started to learned British English and which vocabulary I should use. It took me about 3 months to be able to do it properly. It’s actually not hard, but because I didn’t prepare, I was a bit overwhelmed. Therefore, it’s better to be prepared so you won’t be too surprised when it happens.
“One way to make the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure.”