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Moving to another country





Afaceinthematrix
Who has moved to a different country? What was the hardest part about it? How long did it take to assimilate to the new culture? How long did it take to fit in? How long did it take to get settled? Why did you move? Was it because you didn't like your old country, your job moved you there, you wanted to try something different, or was it because of another reason? Was the new country culturally similar to your old country or completely different? How far away was it? Was it to another country on the same continent or did you move to a different continent? What country did you move from then to?

I've been wondering lately about the difficulties of moving to another country so I decided to try and ask people who have done it.
RiCtee
That sure is a lot of questions. Very Happy Anyway I migrated from Malaysia to Australia roughly 5 years ago. I just followed my family and the main reason was for tertiary education (obviously there's more options in Australia) and another was just to get a change.

I think the hardest part was fitting in and making friends with the people here especially my classmates. We have different thinking and ways of learning. But after a year or so things got better. Oh and another big problem was being homesick. You just wished you were not in this different place and wanted to go back. Also all the friends you left behind, it just makes you regret for a little. I had this feeling for quite a while but I got over it.
kmwhthse
I moved to England (from Germany) after leaving school at 19. It was meant to be a sort of gap year, but whilst being an au-pair I met my now-husband and the rest is history! That was 13 years ago and we now have two little boys, too. Coming here wasn't too difficult as I had little to leave behind in Germany. My insurance and things like that were just put on hold for the year. I went back for a little while to study at university and soon got frustrated with the bureaucracy and narrow-mindedness back home - so I moved back to England for good! This time round I had to cancel everything properly in Germany and sort out things for myself here - it was hard work but I got there - and I was only 20 at the time. Don't expect to have everything set up at once, make a list of the most important things and work your way down. Also, don't under-estimate the amount you can research and sort out over the net these days without even setting foot in the new country first!
Good luck!

Smile
tijn01
I have lived in a few different countries and spent a lot of time away from home. So much, that when I return home it feels just as foreign as a new country.
I think the practicalities are the hardest - little things like knowing how to call the operator or shopping in the super-market. Things that you think are the same everywhere, but just aren't. But the experience of living and knowing a different country are well worth the hassles. I love all the countries I have lived in and they are all home in a way. But I am glad I don't plan to move to a new country anytime soon.
I would always advise people to try a new place. Even if you hate it, you will love home when you get back!
TurtleShell
I'd like to move to another country but just don't know how to go about getting a job elsewhere. How do I, living in the US, get a job in another country? I also have a family to move with me, which would complicate things. I'd like my daughter to have the experience of living abroad, and I'd like it for myself as well. I'm not interested in teaching English as a second language. I don't think I'd do well.
AmericanWomanOnline
I'm planning on moving to another country - USA to Bolivia. It's a lot more difficult than what I thought it would be. I'm taking my 2 year old son and going with a group of people to go to the Rurrenabaque/Ixiamas area to open and run an orphanage with an on-site school and clinic. I will be teaching, also, which will let me not only get experience doing ESL, but to 'home school' my son when he is a bit older, which I have always wanted to do. If I ever get tired of Bolivia, which I doubt will happen for a good long time, I can use my experience in Asia for ESL work. I'm also only 2 classes away from finishing my master's degree, so that will help, too. As for moving, we're looking into getting containers to move all our things. A forty foot long container. It's HUGE! These are really railroad cars. My son and I are going to get about 6 foot (by 8 by 8, which is the width and the height of the container) of the 40 available, because there are other people going. Then we have the airline tickets, the visas ($100 each), and then spending money until we get ourselves all settled. The head people of our group are in charge of purchasing the land, so I don't have to deal with that aspect, but ther are cities in Bolivia where you pay for a whole year's worth of rent, and at the end of the year, you get your rent back. ALL of your rent. They invest it, and then give it back at the end of the year. We won't be moving to that area, though. I know the culture is going to be very different from what I know here (Indiana), but I think it will be a welcome change from all the 'keeping up with the Jones's' that the USA is turning itself into while it avoids thinking about where the government is taking the country to.... don't get me started on that, I go off on too many tangents there, which you'll soon notice I have no problem veering off......... This is why I joined here - I get a blog, a website, and a forum to let me burn off all the thoughts running through my head. I'll be posting stuff on the website and the blog as we go along and get things ready. I've had our passports ready for some time (you can get visas there in Bolivia), checked out the three flights we need to take (no non-stop here), and been packing left and right since I found out on Leap Day, 2008. I just don't know what will happen if I can't post, but that is for another post, I suppose. I'll keep updating my blog as soon as I get it.
deanhills
Moving to another country is hard, and harder when you are out of your teens. The younger you are the more flexible and easier to fit in. You need to have a burning passion to move, a positive attitude and be 150% well prepared. There are always people who will take shots at your decision to move, and you should try and shut them out after you have made your decision. When you get to the new country you need to do the same. Only surround yourself with likeminded people who are 100% committed to make a success of the move. You are sure to find people from your country in the new country who are unhappy or thinking of moving back. This is the time of survival when you need to turn your back on them in a nice way.

You can prepare as you like for about every eventuality, but there is a certain deeper psychological dimension that you cannot be prepared for. It is loosening yourself from a certain group dynamic and having to re-integrate yourself in a new one in the new country. Where you come from a number of people can testify who you are just by the way they interact with you. Communications are very clear and open and one does not even think about how you communicate with one another. Where you go, initially you have to be very careful to communicate correctly. Different words may mean differently in the new country. Different non-verbal body language may also mean different things. Almost as though you have to recreate yourself from scratch. But usually if you are patient and positive, you may find that you end up with the exact same kind of friends you had from where you travelled from. If you had problems with friends and family where you come from, these same problems will surface again. You are who you are wherever you travel. You may find different opportunities though and/or be more lucky. It may also test you to the extent that you become stronger in yourself.

But most important you need to do your research very well before you leave. I.e. how well are people doing in the profession that you are going to practice? Etc. Do you have enough funds to support yourself until you find a new job. Do you have enough funds to survive if something should go wrong with the job that was offered to you.
ItIsI
I lived in Singapore from Jan 2005 - June 2007. I moved there because of my husband's job.

There are many things to adjust to when you move to a foreign country. A new culture, not knowing how things work, making new friends, not knowing the language, being a minority. The list goes on and on. I have one friend who's been an ex-pat for almost 15 years. She says the first year is ALWAYS the hardest. I would have to agree. You leave behind your entire support system and have to start all over from scratch. In my case, I had to get used to being stared at. I have red hair and while I'm really very ordinary looking, in Asia I'm beautiful.

While we were in Singapore we traveled frequently to Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Beijing, Bali (which is in Indonesia), and Cambodia. I'm sure there're more places, but . . .

So while the adjustment was difficult, it was well worth it. The world becomes a much larger place. You quickly realize how powerful and influential America is. And you learn to appreciate, accept, and even admire the cultural differences. If you are a typical American, you think you are accepting of other races, religions, ideologies, etc. Once you live in another country, you understand it on a deeper level.

I think every person should live in another country for at least 2 years. It's very enriching.
freeshann
I moved to another country temporarliy before I had children. Me and my husband moved to Vancouver, Canada and lived there for almost 2 years.
Practically the hardest things were setting up a bank account, knowing the right area to live... ie. where would be convient for us, as neither had jobs yet, but would also be affordable and convenient for weekend fun as well.
One advantage that we had was that we are both christians and so one of first priorities was to find a church to go to, and we knew of one that a friend had gone to earlier. So as soon as we went to that church we made some great friends and that helped heaps with everything from choosing where to live to just being happy. You need friends to keep you sain.
Moving to a country that spoke our native language was also an advantage. It was an amazing experience and I would reccomend it to everyone. Even if you arent a christian you should find a church to go to... hopefully you will find loving christian people who will take you in and help you settle in! And then everything else should fall into place fairly easily after that!
gtoroap
I wanna be moved to another country... maybe my company could do that in short terms (a couple of months). I will need more info about the new country and stuff. At least I travel alone. With kids or wife, it's more difficult, I guess.
thejam
The Difficulty of moving to a different country really depends of where you from and where you are going.. I think every situation is a unique one. It also depends on your attitude, in what way you are willing to addept, or how flexible you are..
I went to Shanghai myself (I am from the Netherlands). In the beginning its quite a culture shock, however after a while you start to get used to the things that seemed to be weird in the beginning. Now, after three years, most things don't suprise me anymore, and i even notice some value's or habits i had in the Netherlands faded away, and got replaced by Chinese.
The language barrier is still a big pain in the ass. I master a basic level, and am able to communicate in most situations. However, it's still not sufficient.

Moving to a new country gives a big kcik too. I am kinda thinking of moving ffwd these days and start from scratch in a new country/environment. It's a slow, and luxurious version of backpacking.
Plus it looks good on your CV too..
nigam
ohhh...this is really a great conversation in here. I'd like to moved out from my country too. I got sick and tired of my country for the government and has no improvement.it really sucks to hear news day to day. i wish i can moved out that easily but it takes time.
Findhelp
move to usa
cavedog2
I was actually thinking of touring Europe and firts I have to go and see Netherlands then Estonia then Poland. I have only seen so many good things there on TV and documentaries so i want to go and see whaz going on there. Very Happy
silvereye
I miss home but I really love living in Europe. I treat it like a whole country when its not... I am originally from Hong Kong and moved to the states when I was 12. Being Chinese, I already felt pretty alien there, but I am also a bit mixed, 1/8 something else, so even in Hong Kong as a child I was getting some feedback from people who have tunnel-vision. Now I am in Spain and its been a tough summer learning Spanish, but its a lot more fun to learn than German. Going to Switzerland soon, so I gotta brush up on my German. But really focus on the language studies and you will be able to appreciate all the little things, like the tapas in Spain! (I still don't get how anyone can learn Chinese when he or she has not grown up with it... Props!)
chi0
I moved from South Africa to Japan.

The differences were absolutely massive, in everything from the languages, to peoples' personality and viewpoints, to the landscapes, to the food....

The adjustment wasn't that bad though. At the same time as you're noticing how many things are different, you also notice how many things are just the same.

The biggest problem was the language, and the effective illiteracy. Only now am I starting to get a grip on the language (after two years) so that I can now buy magazines aimed at teenagers. Razz Now that I can finally have conversations with people, though, I never want to leave!

It was pretty tough adjusting, but the lovely people here made it so much easier!
gtoroap
Wow... I wanna leave my country (for a while) and my candidates country are: Canadá, Japan, England, France, and Spain.
mrcool
I want to moved out anywhere as long as i am away from our sickening country...hell to our corrupt government. they were all thinking themselves.
natilovesmike
I moved to the US about 3 and a half years ago from Argentina because I met my (now) husband who is fro the US and we decided to settle in his country (since mine was in a bad bad economic situation). I am not sure I have adapted to the US yet. I miss my family and friends so much and here people is not as friendly...well, not the same kind of friendly I am used to so its hard to relate to people. But I have found some really nice people too...But to be honest I want to go back to Argentina...
Cliffer
i moved from china to malaysia,then moved back to china.
fx-trading-education
I have lived and work in 3 different countries in Europe (France, Estonia, Finland). Even if there are differences, it is no so hard to adapt because anyway the culture is similar.
I have moved for family and work related reasons.
I have enjoyed seeing the different aspects of living in different countries, beause when you stay in your country alone you have wrong ideas about how is the loife in other countries.
Living abroad gives you a broader view and hopefully more tolerance.
bsbteng
I live in China, and I am going to immiganr to Canada.
I think Edmonton is a good place to live.

Edmonton is famous for a number of cultural events and is dubbed "Festival City" as a result. It also has the largest shopping mall in North America, a weekend getaway for people in other parts of Canada and the United States, including a Bourbon Street after hour entertainment as part of the Mall. It is a cultural city with many cultural pursuits.
deanhills
bsbteng wrote:
I live in China, and I am going to immiganr to Canada.
I think Edmonton is a good place to live.

Edmonton is famous for a number of cultural events and is dubbed "Festival City" as a result. It also has the largest shopping mall in North America, a weekend getaway for people in other parts of Canada and the United States, including a Bourbon Street after hour entertainment as part of the Mall. It is a cultural city with many cultural pursuits.
Perhaps you need to look at your skills and then do research on the Canadian cities so that you can find out where your skills are most in demand. That would be a good start. Then figure out what the cost of living is in the cities that match your skills. For example Vancouver is very expensive to live in. Calgary is not cheap, but much less expensive than Vancouver. Toronto is very congested, but probably will have more job opportunities as well as better paying jobs.
bsbteng
I'm pretty sure that I'll be living in a different country in another few years. But, I won't be moving.

I'm a Chinese, born in this country a little over fifty years ago. When the sixties bloomed, it wasn't the same country. When disco reigned, it wasn't the same country. And it hasn't stopped changing.

So, if I'm still alive, and unless something unexpected happens, five or ten years from now, I'll be living here in Capital Centre - and China will be a different country. Again.
deanhills
bsbteng wrote:
I'm pretty sure that I'll be living in a different country in another few years. But, I won't be moving.

I'm a Chinese, born in this country a little over fifty years ago. When the sixties bloomed, it wasn't the same country. When disco reigned, it wasn't the same country. And it hasn't stopped changing.

So, if I'm still alive, and unless something unexpected happens, five or ten years from now, I'll be living here in Capital Centre - and China will be a different country. Again.
Good point. I don't live in Dubai, but Dubai is a good example of a city that has changed a number of times. So much so that you could have thought that you have moved to a different country. This goes for most of the big cities in the Middle East.
chasbeen
Who has moved to a different country?
Me and Ii took the family.
What was the hardest part about it?
Adjusting to the winter, missing relations friends, particularly Christmas.
How long did it take to assimilate to the new culture?
At least 4 years. It's wierd your brain thinks it's on holiday before 100% realization.
How long did it take to fit in?
Immediately, however becoming familiar with social differences takes time.
How long did it take to get settled?
Put the kiddies in school and get settled with a new jobs + get driving license. In our case 18 months.
DONT FORGET IF YOU BROUGHT ANYONE WITH YOU, THEY BLAME YOU WHEN THINGS GO WRONG.
Why did you move?
Wanted a change,whats the reason?
A new start, some opportunities "died"
Was the new country culturally similar to your old country or completely different?
Mmostly similar
How far away was it?
3000 miles.
Was it to another country on the same continent or did you move to a different continent? What country did you move from then to?
England to Canada
deanhills
chasbeen wrote:
Who has moved to a different country?
Me and Ii took the family.
What was the hardest part about it?
Adjusting to the winter, missing relations friends, particularly Christmas.
How long did it take to assimilate to the new culture?
At least 4 years. It's wierd your brain thinks it's on holiday before 100% realization.
How long did it take to fit in?
Immediately, however becoming familiar with social differences takes time.
How long did it take to get settled?
Put the kiddies in school and get settled with a new jobs + get driving license. In our case 18 months.
DONT FORGET IF YOU BROUGHT ANYONE WITH YOU, THEY BLAME YOU WHEN THINGS GO WRONG.
Why did you move?
Wanted a change,whats the reason?
A new start, some opportunities "died"
Was the new country culturally similar to your old country or completely different?
Mmostly similar
How far away was it?
3000 miles.
Was it to another country on the same continent or did you move to a different continent? What country did you move from then to?
England to Canada
Someone mentioned that there are usually three stages that anyone has to go through when they move from one country to another. It starts with euphoria and lots of excitement. Then followed by lots of stress, discovering differences, anxieties, missing the previous country etc. Then finally the person either accepts or rejects and when he/she accepts they embrace their new country. Think the greatest challenge for me was that I had to prove who I was right from scratch. Previously I was surrounded by people who were familiar to me and the other way round, and that is an identity of sorts that one feels safe with. Moving to a new country one is tested in who you and have to show who you are from scratch. Communication being key. People have to learn who you are and this may take additional effort and energy when you come from a different culture with different sense of humour and the other way round.
davidfromoz
I've lived in 7 countries in my life. Here are some random thoughts.

First of all, I think all you need is a positive attitude. Everything else can be worked out.

I guess there are two different cases. Going to live in a place and moving permanently. Moving permanently is a huge deal. Moving to live in a place with the intention to return to your home country is not such a big thing. Its quite easily done.

The hardest part of moving to another country is getting the day to do things done. At home you know how to go to the dentist and what to expect, how to get the internet connected, where to buy shoelaces, how much you can drink before you can't legally drive, how to file taxes, whether you can expect to get your rental deposit back, where you can park your car, etc, etc.. I'd imagine things might be complicated if you have kids.

Another hard part is actually pulling the trigger on the move. Its easy to plan and think about it. Lots of people say they want to try living in a foreign place, but in the end they pull out before actually doing it. It takes courage (especially the first time)

Immigration can be tricky. Do quite a bit of research there to make sure you don't break any immigration rules (and perhaps how you can legitimately bend them).

In some places (perhaps most, all even?) you can never fully assimilate. Depends on the place. Perhaps a year or two to really sort out the things like I listed above. But you can become comfortable very quickly if you accept the fact that you won't know everything right away.

Fitting in doesn't seem much different to fitting in at home really. Lots of people make a big deal of cultural factors. Of course they are important and you have to learn them. But on the other hand if you show a genuine interest in people's culture then they will quickly forgive you for breaking most cultural rules. Some foreigners spend a lot of time comparing their new country with their old. I don't recommend that.

I guess it depends on what you mean by settled. Normally a week or two to get a place to stay, know how to get to the supermarket, how to get around (get a car if necessary) etc. Some things take much longer. It can take ages to sort out immigration issues and things like that.

I moved because I wanted to see how others live. I love my home country. Its easiest to move with work because they will take care of a lot of logistics for you and there will be people to help you when you get there. Moving by yourself is more exciting. You might develop a different perspective on your own country after you have lived in another. I think in most cases people who move because they are unhappy with their own country end up being unhappy in the next.

I've lived in similar cultures and very different ones. I'm Australian, as a kid I lived in England and Canada. As an adult I've lived in Taiwan, Singapore, USA and Japan. I'll almost certainly return home at some point.

I'd recommend time living in another country to everybody.
deanhills
davidfromoz wrote:
I'm Australian, as a kid I lived in England and Canada. As an adult I've lived in Taiwan, Singapore, USA and Japan. I'll almost certainly return home at some point.

I'd recommend time living in another country to everybody.
I've found Australians to be some of the most flexible people in the world and from an immigration point of view, ideal immigrants. They rarely grumble, usually come with an excellent education, are generally laid back, hard-working, have a great sense of humour. They seem to adapt much easier than others, are of the most hospitable immigrants I know, having their doors open, sociable, helpful to others. The Kiwis are the same as well. They are much sought after as workers in countries like Canada. Has to be something to do with "the colonies". Smile
davidfromoz
deanhills wrote:

I've found Australians to be some of the most flexible people in the world and from an immigration point of view, ideal immigrants. They rarely grumble, usually come with an excellent education, are generally laid back, hard-working, have a great sense of humour. They seem to adapt much easier than others, are of the most hospitable immigrants I know, having their doors open, sociable, helpful to others. The Kiwis are the same as well. They are much sought after as workers in countries like Canada. Has to be something to do with "the colonies". Smile


Of course it varies with the individual, but generally speaking Aussies have a fairly easy time because they are laid back. Most people who have been expats for a while have a similar mindset and can to some degree accept most things as they are.

The people who have the hardest time in foreign places are those who have strong expectations for how things should be. For example, many western people hate lateness. But many places around the world its quite normal for somebody to be half an hour (or more) late for an agreed meeting. Some people just can't deal with it. They'll mentally set it up as a "me vs. the whole country" and because they know they are right and people shouldn't be late they will be bitter, judgmental, unforgiving for it. The only reasonable thing you can do is suck it up and try to enjoy yourself anyway. You have zero chance of really changing the whole country.

cheers,
david
deanhills
davidfromoz wrote:
The people who have the hardest time in foreign places are those who have strong expectations for how things should be. For example, many western people hate lateness. But many places around the world its quite normal for somebody to be half an hour (or more) late for an agreed meeting.
That is so true, especially in the country where I am in the Middle East. It is actually hilarious in a way. As some of the locals are completely good with their time-keeping. So you would find Westerners here who have adapted to arriving late and locals arriving on time. The meetings I am presently attending there are locals who are late, but generally I find more Westerners than locals who are late for meetings.

Your point of view is a very good one though. It is never a big deal, and if it is, it may make the person who migrates more unhappy than the others, with predictable results.
BrumDubai
I moved from England to the UAE 4 years ago. Bearing in mind that I was only 10 years old my primary concern was, understandably, starting a new school.

When my mum told me that my step-dad had got a job Dubai I had absolutly no idea where it was and when I found out was terrified that everyone would be speaking Arabic and I wouldnt understand.

On arrival to Dubai I realised that the expat community is ginormous here, bigger than the local one, and there were loads of people in the same situation as me.

How have I adapted to the culture? Lets see....I speak aproximatly 5-10 words of Arabic and can understand the written numbers but dont know how to say them. I have also never been to a Mosque and know little more than I did when I left about Islam.

I that the experience of moving to another country is different depending on what age you are, where you go and how many other expats are living there.
bsbteng
I've found Australians and Canada to be some of the most flexible people in the world and from an immigration point of view, ideal immigrants.
pelatros
I just moved to another country which is Sweden from my country which is Turkey. I have been here since 2 months and life is first very fun and difficult ofcourse to communicate until learning their language. I have been trying to learn swedish but i like it.. i thgink most difficult thing is feeling lonely sometimes.. not because of you dont have friends here, because of living in very different society maybe because of not getting used to living here..
Nannasi
Hello Natilovesmike
I am from argentina too and I have moved to USA 2 months ago with my husband and it is being difficult for me to adapt. I have a job and my husband is looking for one. Some days I feel fine but others very sad. I will be here for a year, I hope it gets better!
Nannasi
natilovesmike wrote:
I moved to the US about 3 and a half years ago from Argentina because I met my (now) husband who is fro the US and we decided to settle in his country (since mine was in a bad bad economic situation). I am not sure I have adapted to the US yet. I miss my family and friends so much and here people is not as friendly...well, not the same kind of friendly I am used to so its hard to relate to people. But I have found some really nice people too...But to be honest I want to go back to Argentina...


I am from argentina too and I have moved to USA 2 months ago with my husband and it is being difficult for me to adapt. I have a job and my husband is looking for one. Some days I feel fine but others very sad. I will be here for a year, I hope it gets better!
Missdiggles
So I know I'm reviving a dead thread but I was searching google for ( I regret moving to another country) and I landed on this thread. I'm an American with South African family. I've lived in South Africa - but when my daughter was born , my husband and I decided to move to Cape Town. Even though I'm from there and I'm living the way I've always dreamed - I'm at such odds with my life there. I've been there for 6 months and I am so unhappy. I felt like I did all the right things. I work from home, have great income, have actively been making new friends , connected with old friends , keep an active social calendar, exercise and spend time with family. We eat out, see movies , go to the beach, hit bars / lounges , and hang out with friends. Despite all of that - I'm hating the culture, the classism, the racism, the apathy, and even the general laziness. I hate how public services don't work. I hate the way doctors diagnose without running any lab work. I hate how sick we keep getting over and over.

We have enough money to live a very comfortable life. I have a housekeeper as well. But despite this - I feel very hollow and discontent . It's not that we are living in a bad place - I just ultimately feel like I'm not where I'm supposed to be. I've lived in other countries but this is the first time I've dealt with this kind of distress. I ultimately felt like I did the move right - even moving my pets and all our furniture. We made enough money to do this move and move back if worse came to worse. I guess my point for posting is just to highlight that sometimes the logistics can be in order but it still not work out. I'm giving it at least another 6 months but I don't know.
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