If you’ve moved to a new country as an expat and you feel you’re the odd one out because you’re missing home, think again. It is perfectly normal for workers in foreign countries to experience nostalgic thoughts about home.
Some people find it hard to believe because a lot of expatriates light up their social media accounts with seemingly happy photos of their new countries. However, there’s a reason thousands of expats rush back home during vacation or holiday periods.
The relationships created over several years in one’s home country can never be substituted. If the nationals of the new country are quite reclusive, it could be harder for the expatriate to adjust. Apart from this, there are many issues foreign workers face when they move to new countries.
Reasons Expats Find it Difficult to Adjust
1. A Different Language
Expats that move to countries where they don’t have to learn new languages find it hard enough to adjust. Add that to learning the local language and you might feel migrating was a mistake.
Expatriates could experience a lot of frustration when trying to ask questions in a language they’re not familiar with. Even in your home country, there are things you need help with like directions and steps to perform an action. In your new home, you can have experiences with impatient people who can appear rude when you seek help from them.
2. Culture Shocks
This type of shock hits expats most when they move to an entirely different continent. Culture shocks are bound to grow the more distant you are from home. So, if you move to a country where culture is held in high esteem, you might find it harder to acclimatize.
For instance, an American foreign worker in an Asian country may find superstitious beliefs weird. An Englishman who steps across the outstretched leg of a pregnant lady in an African country can get rebuked. Seemingly innocent actions can make you feel out of place as an expat.
The climate in countries differs very greatly. The farther you move up North on the globe, the colder it gets. The closer you are to the equator, the hotter it becomes.
An expatriate from Kenya has most likely never experienced the bitter cold accompanied by snow. A Canadian foreign worker is unlikely to have had contact with the harsh heat emanating from the sun in the tropics.
What’s worse, the attitude of the citizens in the new country might seem off. Someone experiencing cold weather in Europe may find it depressing that most people stay indoors during the winter. An expat trying to get used to the hot weather may be reluctant to remain outside with people during an event.
4. Family Issues
While moving abroad with your family greatly reduces the feeling of homesickness, it can also create problems. Every family member is bound to grow or achieve things at a different pace. This variation can lead to some members of the family feeling left out.
For clarification, a wife may secure employment while the husband remains in the job-seeking market. One sibling can make friends in the new environment faster than another. These factors can create differences between family members that have migrated.
Remedies for Expatriates to Settle Faster
1. Utilize Alternative Methods for Learning Language
Not everyone needs to learn stuff in the same way. Find out if your organization offers formal language training, and if not, consider hiring a private tutor to learn the local language.
If you’re lucky to get a job quite fast in your new country, keeping up with physical classes might prove difficult. However, you can decide to take online classes by using a certified language app.
You can also decide to learn the language informally through interactions with the locals. Nonetheless, this method can slow down the process of learning.
2. Meet New People
It can seem tough to achieve but meeting new people in the new country you’re in will help you adapt. Depending on the place you move to, relationships can be created in the workplace. If that’s the case, you can invite your co-workers to your home for dinner.
If nationals in the country you’re in prefer to keep work relationships professional, you can branch out. Head over to bars and the gym to make friends. Always remember to get their contacts after a rewarding conversation with them.
3. Use a VPN to Bypass Geo-Blocking
A VPN app serves several purposes in this instance. Before they’re explained, you need to understand the function of a VPN. This tech tool allows you to create and maintain a private connection to an endpoint, via a connection of a different server.
In practice, you can access websites and apps that are blocked in foreign nations to communicate with your friends back home. With a VPN download, you can also bypass geo-restrictions on movie streaming services to cure nostalgia.
VPNs can also be utilized to find cheaper pricing for flights and hotels back home or anywhere else in the world.
4. Communicate with your Family
You have to realize you’re uprooting your family and having them experience something new. Sometimes, this can prove problematic. Your kids can deal with loneliness and making new friends and your spouse can be frustrated with unemployment.
Try to talk with your children and spouse to understand how they’re adjusting to the new life. Once they understand someone is there for them, it’ll make the settling process easier.
To tackle these challenges, you’ll need to learn the language at a faster rate, relate with the locals, and use a VPN to allow the satisfaction of nostalgia.