Settling into a New Culture
Leaving the UK behind is often an exciting time for new migrants. The anticipation of a new country and a new way of life is exhilarating, if a little nerve wracking. For many, choosing to move to a new country is often based purely on second hand information on what the country has to offer. For some, holidays there have shown enough to cement the decision to move there permanently. However you’ve come to the decision to move to a new home, there is bound to be a period of adjustment where you need to actively attempt to settle into the new culture you’re surrounded by.
Moving to a Country in the EUIf you are planning to move to a European country, you’re most likely going to have visited it previously on holiday. One of the major drawbacks of moving to a European country can be the language barriers. If you don’t speak the local language, it can be difficult to feel settled.
The culture will seem more alien to you and even though many people are able to speak English, it is worthwhile attempting to learn the local language as soon as possible. The benefits of this are limitless, as the locals are more likely to accept you and take you seriously as a new resident of their country. You will also be able to integrate with things more easily, such as television, making phone calls, shopping and all your official paperwork.
Embracing your new culture is a very important aspect of settling into your new home. You should immediately start referring to your new country as ‘home’, as it again shows locals that you’re thinking of their home as yours. EU countries are often filled with ex-pats and therefore it may be worthwhile finding some other UK immigrants so that you can learn the local customs with their expertise. The Euro currency has made it easier for many new immigrants in the EU as there is now a standard currency to learn.
Moving Further Away and Your New CultureIf you decide to move to a country such as Canada, the USA, Australia or New Zealand, you may never have been there before or may have only visited for a short time. Countries you visit on holiday are often completely different to live in.
Although there is the benefit of a common language, this doesn’t mean life is exactly the same. Adapting to a different sense of humour, outlook on life and general lifestyle can be very challenging. Dependent on the area you’re moving to, certain aspects of the culture will be more prominent. Often cities that are close to the beach and are continually sunny will have a fairly laidback lifestyle, one that can be difficult to get used to. If you’re used to putting work before family, this can be completely different in certain areas, or vice versa.
Always remember that as a newcomer to any country, it is your duty to learn and accept the local lifestyle, including laws, both official and unwritten. Getting involved with the community is one of the best ways to integrate into a new culture. If you already speak the language, you have a head start on becoming involved with local groups.