8 Things To Learn Before You Shift To A New Country |Divya Toshniwal|

A new opportunity & a new life is waiting for you. Before I start with the list of things to learn before you shift to a new country, I would like to wish you 'All the Best ' for the exciting journey ahead. Life is not going to be the same now. There are a lot of aspects that you need to keep in mind. A new country means new laws and a new culture. There will be a lot of changes, physically, emotionally and in every other way you can think of.

To make it a little easier for you, I have curated here a list of things that you should learn before you shift to a new country. And if you have already shifted, just know it is never too late.

Learn culturally appropriate gestures

Different cultures have different positive and negative gestures and the slightest of mistakes can create trouble for you or make you look bad. For example, crossing your arms in front of someone can be considered hugely offensive in Finland. In Greece, giving a thumbs-up can be considered as giving the middle finger. In many cultures around the world pointing a finger at someone is considered rude. Receiving gifts with the left hand is not considered good in China, India, Vietnam, and many more countries, so make sure you use both your hands or your right hand. Many cultures have the concept of leaving your shoes at the doorstep. So whichever country you are shifting to, make sure you know what is culturally appropriate and not over there.

Learn about tax laws and investment options

When we shift to a new country we think either about earning or studying there. What we forget to learn are the tax laws and the savings options. Learn about the taxes you need to pay and also about the rights you have in that country. What government benefits are you eligible for? Many countries offer subsidies and health benefits but people do not know about them and hence end up paying extra. Also, learn about the investment options that are available to you if you are a citizen of that country and also an immigrant.

Learn to do your own chores

This is a crucial one, especially if you are shifting from a labor-abundant country like India. In India, if you are a little well-off, you probably never had to wash the dishes or clothes, clean the house or cook for yourself. Well, now is the time for you to learn these things. To make your life easier and more efficient, it is important to learn to do your own work without a helping hand, which can be extremely expensive in the developed nations of the western world.

Collect information on the city you are shifting to

Before renting an apartment, learn about the areas, maps, public transport, and markets in the city. Buying everything from a convenience store or departmental store can prove to be very expensive, hence find local markets where you can find the same things for a cheaper price. Learn about the public transport systems and if they have monthly passes etc. Find neighborhoods that have cheaper rent and are close to the public transport system, to rent an apartment.

Learn the language

It is really very important to learn the basics of the language spoken in that country. You may not be fluent immediately but you should at least be able to understand and convey basic messages in the language of that particular country. Some countries also have a secondary language. Knowing them can also ease the process for you. Like in India, knowing Hindi is a bonus for you, but if you know English you can still quite easily live here.

Learn to manage your finances

Create a budget and learn to stick to it. Identify what are the things you need and what are the things you are wasting your money on. Create an estimate of what your monthly basic expenses would be there and what income you will be receiving. Rather than letting it be a surprise for after you reach there, find out as much as you can so that you can make arrangements for your finances. Also, it is better to have a second source of income or/and savings of at least 6 months' worth of expenses before you move there.

Learn to take care of your mental and physical health

Moving to a new country can be taxing both on your physical and mental health. It is easy to lose yourself and ignore your mental and physical needs in the hustle and bustle of shifting. So, it is important to work on your health and make yourself physically and mentally fit before you plan to shift to a new country. Being away from home can create a feeling of missing out on things and a sense of loneliness so learn how to deal with FOMO. Distance from home can make you homesick and it may not be possible to go back every now and then. Keep in touch with friends and family back home. Do not ignore self-care routines, and be in touch with yourself by meditating, maintaining a journal, listening to music, and doing things that make you feel better.

Learn to make new friends

New place, new people and you are leaving behind everything and everyone you know. Making new friends and building new connections becomes more important than ever now. Find places to meet new people. Join groups and clubs of similar interests to yours. Join a gym, take walks in a park and connect to people when you find the opportunity. Do not hesitate to talk to new people. Keeping away from people and isolating yourself isn't going to help.

This list is not exhaustive and if you do have any other pointers that could help someone else too please do add them in the comments.



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