Tips to settle into a new country

New Job, New Country, New Dreams & New Challenges

You finally have that dream job in your dream city. You have packed your house. Sorted your documents. Tried to spend as much time as you can with family and friends. When finally your flight takes off, you feel anxious and excited all at the same time and why not? Be it first day of new school, starting college, first job, marriage, kids, new beginnings are always exciting and nerve wrecking, so why should transferring from one country to another be any different? My family experienced the same. Two year back when we shifted to the United States, we never knew how humbling this whole experience would be. After working for a long time in your native country, creating a life for yourself, knowing every nook and corner of the city you live in, having friends and family around is like having a cosy nest to live in, leaving your country behind is like flying away from the nest to make a new one. It is getting out of your comfort zone. When you move to another country your comfort zone is left behind, minute your flight takes off.

So, in this blog I want to discuss what to expect when shifting to new country.

New Laws, Rules & Regulations

Needless to say every country has its own constitution, rules and regulations. It is a good idea to study a little about form of government, economy and general guidelines. Knowing a bit of history about the country you are shifting to, will take you the long way.

Understanding finances & taxes

I always feel that our schools should have taught us basics of investment, saving tools, financial planning and how to do taxes. After spending majority of career understanding taxation in my country, I am now expected to understand taxation of another country. Phew!!! Well if you are good at such things, GREAT!!! But I am not. You should know about these factors when you move to another country. You should be able to calculate the cost of living in the state you will be staying particularly. Its important because you would like to live as comfortably as you were in your country.

Healthcare

Every country is different when it comes healthcare policies. In this case I would just say it’s better to be safe than panic in the time of need. When there is an emergency, no one has the time or patience to understand healthcare rules and regulations or how insurance works in respective country. It’s best to cover your bases and have detailed understanding. Also locate 24 hour pharmacy, good physician, gynecologist, pediatrician and hospital near your area.

City

There is a familiarity about the city we are born and raised in. You know the city, places where you can get bargains, you knows where to buy grocery from, you have your family doctors sorted, you know which route to take so that you can beat the traffic. In a new city everything is new and confusing. Accept that you wouldn’t know everything, so don’t rush into knowing everyone and everything in one go. Don’t get overwhelmed and just google it.

Setting up a new house

Different cities in the world has different styles of housing. Budget, distance from work and size of your family will decide the kind of house you choose. If you have the option of getting a furnished home at reasonable cost, it is indeed the best option but if it’s expensive, go slow on buying furniture. Just buying the basic minimum for sometime. Till the time you know the place better and where you can find products worth your money.

Relocation expense

Most of the companies give relocation expense but you have to research thoroughly about how much is the cost of settling in the city you will be staying. In the new city you have to buy everything from a spoon to furniture along with deposits for renting a house. Make sure you are given that money and little bit more.

House hunt

First thing first, you have got find a roof on your head. If your company is giving you temporary residence for decent time, nothing is like it. Try and find rental properties without an agent. You can do it easily, one just needs to find the right portals and apps. Another thing you can do is, list the neighborhoods you are interested in staying and just take a walk around. You can find tons of local advertisements in the area. That’s how we got our first apartment. Besides, it also gives you the feel of the place. Do ask if the house is energy efficient. You don’t want to be surprised by huge electricity bill.

Finding a job

This one is more for spouses. Your spouse must have had a great flourishing career back home but coming to a new country is going to be a fresh start for her as well. Make sure you and your spouse are ready for this huge adjustment. Understand the documentation your spouse will need for working. Start building your professional network from the start.

Social life

It is not easy to find like minded people in our life. As we grow up, we realize only very few friends are there for lifetime. When you leave those dearest friends and family behind, you are leaving a huge part of you behind. Just know it will take time to make your social circle. If you were a party animal and loved hanging out with your gang, it’s going to take some time.

Language

Depending on which country you are moving to, language can be huge factor. It’s beneficial to start learning basics of local language of the new country. Rest, google translator comes in pretty handy. Language barrier can make it more challenging to adjust and create a life outside work.

Food

Every country has their own culture and own food. It might take some time to adjust your taste pallets. I have friends and family living in countries where don’t even get basic groceries of their native food. They carry and store food in huge quantities. So, if your native food is extremely important to your family, finding the stores or ways and means to keep it in stock will come handy. If you are not big on cooking at home then this might not be such a big deal.

Cultural difference

Living in a new country can be a great learning experience. Start your new life being prepared to become a cosmopolitan citizen and also embrace multiple cultures. It is easier said then. It is directly related to your social life. If you are not culturally comfortable, it will take you longer to feel at home and make friends, longer you take to make a social circle lonelier you are bound to feel. It is all connected with each other. Open mindedness is the key to overcome this challenge of settling in the new city.

Expectation Vs Reality

When we move to our dream city we all have rosy images dangling in our eyes and we are hopeful, but behind all the glamour there is a lot of struggle. I am not trying to bulldoze the excitement of something new. With my personal experience I am trying to say keep check your expectations real and give it time. Time makes everything worse better, great and then greatest.

It has taken my family more than two years to feel somewhat settled. It would have been a great help for me if someone would have told me about these facts. A lot of them might seem common sense but trust me everything is flying off your head, common sense flies away with it. So, keep your zen and enjoy new life in the new city.

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