Home > Article
Through the Woods and Across the Ocean
Moving overseas takes more adjustment than just moving to the next state. While most who move domestically seem to have few problems with the relocation, those who go abroad find that making a new network of friends is not always easy.
Be prepared for things to be different from your undergraduate traveling experiences.
Of course, no matter where you are, there are standard ways of meeting new people: joining a gym or a social club, hanging out at a bookstore or coffee shop on a regular basis, asking co-workers to set you up, or even frequenting local Internet chat rooms (if that's your thing). Or, you could do something a little crazier like Alexis did: She participated in a bachelorette auction in Atlanta and that led her to some new relationships that she has kept to this day.
Change is scary
One thing is consistent, though: you have to be open to change and willing to adapt to the new environment, regardless of where you are. There's always a disorienting "systems adjustment," which will include getting used to new methods of transportation (the subway in New York City, for example, is very different from the "T" in Boston) and change of pace, learning about local traditions and members of local government, and finding out where the cool places are to spend your free time.
"A lot of people when they [move] just don't know how to handle not being in their element and it makes them uncomfortable. They're completely out of control of their entire life. They have no control and you have to be willing to let go of that control," Annette says.
Change is good
According to Suzie Elkin, 30, who spent a year in Madrid teaching English, it is imperative for people who relocate--especially internationally--to be open to other people's culture. "You need to remember that it is not your country," she advises. "You need to respect that it can be uncomfortable, especially if you don't understand the language."
More Related Articles
Finding Work Abroad
Are you considering working in a foreign country? Here are a few tips to get you started.
Living the Life of a Farmer in Italy: Volunteering through WWOOF
My experience on a farm in Southern Italy was a taste of la dolce vita-- sometimes.
An American Abroad, Teaching English to the English
Upon arriving in a sleepy hamlet home to one of the UK's larger and older private boarding schools, I received considerable flak about the fact that I was an American teaching in the school's English department.
Google Web Search
Didn't see what you were looking for?
powered by Google