Settling In After an International Move

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Settling In After an International Move

An international move is a monumental step, often marked by a mix of exhilaration, anticipation, and the undeniable challenges of adjusting to an entirely new environment. While the initial days might be filled with the thrill of discovery, truly settling in requires effort, patience, and a few strategies.


How to settle in and make yourself at home after an international move? In this article we offer insights and tips to help you navigate through the process.


Making Your Space Feel Like Home


Your living space plays a pivotal role in how quickly you adapt. Personalise your new home with familiar items, photographs, and decor that resonate with your identity. Even if you are about to change the flat or house in the coming months, don’t let it feel unfamiliar, uninviting or temporary. Creating a comforting and familiar environment can offer much-needed solace during the initial days of adjustment.


Building Connections and Networks


It may be hard at first, but overcoming your fear will pay off. Join local groups, clubs, or organizations that align with your interests. Whether it's a hobby class, a sports team, or an expat community, these groups can provide a sense of belonging and introduce you to people who share similar experiences or passions.


Embracing the Local Language


While you might get by with English in many parts of the world, learning the local language can significantly enhance your integration. It not only facilitates easier communication but also demonstrates respect for the local culture.


You can approach language immersion by:

  • language courses offered by local institutions or community centres,
  • language exchange partners who wants to learn your language and teach you theirs in exchange,
  • interactive language apps,
  • joining conversation clubs where locals and foreigners come together to practice different languages.


Establishing a Routine


Moving to a new country can often feel like being adrift in a vast ocean, with familiar anchors left behind. Establishing a routine becomes the compass that guides you, providing structure, predictability, and a sense of normalcy amidst the whirlwind of change. That’s why it’s so important to have some rituals. Start your day with a set routine which will set the tone for the day and offer a moment of calm before the day's activities. Don’t forget about exercise and physical activity. Leaving behind your well-known gym of fitness centre doesn’t mean you have to give up on sports and benefits physical activity brings. Incorporating physical activity into your routine can boost your mood and energy levels.


Settling in is a process. It needs time and your involvement. Local activities and events offer a great opportunity to root yourself. Engage in local events or activities that occur regularly, like a monthly book club, a weekly farmers' market, or annual festivals. These become events to look forward to and anchor you to the local community.


Exploring and Experiencing the Locale


Moving to a new country offers a unique opportunity to dive deep into a fresh cultural landscape, brimming with new sights, sounds, and experiences. Exploring and experiencing the locale is not just about ticking off tourist attractions. It's about truly understanding and embracing the essence of the place you now call home. How to do it?


There are various ways to embrace the locale. You can do it by:

  • attending guided tours that offer insights into the history, architecture, and cultural significance of key landmarks,
  • trying local dishes, visiting traditional eateries, and even attending cooking classes,
  • engaging in local outdoor activities, from hiking and cycling to fishing or bird-watching,
  • attending local events, fairs, and festivals,
  • familiarising yourself with local customs, greetings, and etiquette.


Staying Connected with Your Roots


In the midst of the excitement and challenges of settling into a new country, it's essential not to lose sight of where you come from. Your roots, the memories, traditions, and relationships from your homeland, play a crucial role in shaping your identity and grounding you emotionally. Staying connected with these roots can provide comfort, perspective, and a sense of belonging, even when miles away.


Stay connected by:

  • regular communication,
  • celebrating traditions,
  • visiting your homeland when possible,
  • embrace dual identity.


It’s important to understand it's okay to cherish and hold onto your roots while simultaneously embracing and integrating into the new culture.


Settling in after an international move is a transformative journey, one that shapes your worldview and personal growth. With the right strategies and a positive mindset, you can turn this challenge into a rewarding adventure.