How to deal with cultural differences when you move overseas

Quite often, when moving into a new place, you adjusting can be quite difficult. Especially when moving overseas, it can be difficult to adjust and deal with cultural differences in the county you move to. Dealing with the communication differences can be especially difficult. To that end, we put together this list of ways to deal with cultural differences when you move overseas.

Keep your home clean after the move

Once you move into your new home overseas, you might find yourself stressed. This is normal, of course, and while there aren’t many things to do about it other than getting to know your surroundings, there is one very effective tip: keep your home clean. Being in a clean house or apartment can help keep you destressed when at home, and helps when adjusting to your new living space. Before you can get to know your surroundings and dealing with the cultural differences they bring, it is important to feel at home in your new place.

Clean apartment kitchen
A clean home helps keep you destressed.

Try the local food

To get used to the food in a new country can take some time. Especially when you are a fresh arrival, having meals which you had back home helps deal with the stress and anxiety of living in an unfamiliar place. However, if you try the local cuisine (and get used to it) it helps you feel at home again. And, after all, if the local food is to your liking, it will make the adjustment process easier.

Traditional sweets on shop display - food is a way to deal with cultural differences when you move overseas
Getting used to the local food helps to deal with cultural differences when you move overseas.

Staying organized after the move

Once you arrive at your new home, it is important to keep your home organized. If you are not properly settled into your new home, it can be difficult to deal with cultural differences. Experts from movingtransparent.com state that packing supplies for the first week after a move helps a lot with smoothly settling into your new home, especially when moving overseas. The first week after moving into a new country can be quite difficult, but with the right preparation you can make the transition both stress less and easy.

Stay open minded

Staying open to new things can be hard immediately after a move. Moving a household is a long and stressful process, especially if something goes wrong. Even if you transfer everything with no hassle, it can be difficult to keep your mind open to new experiences. But, in order to deal with cultural differences well, it always helps to keep your mind open to trying new things. After all, a new culture can bring many wonderful new things to experience. And trying these new things helps a lot when trying to understand a new culture.

Learn the local mannerisms

By far the hardest part of trying to deal with cultural differences is communication. When you arrive in a new place, chances are the locals will have their own way of talking. Mannerisms and other such expressions can create a gap when trying to communicate with them. It is very important to try and learn how the locals speak, and try to start speaking like they do. When moving overseas, it is possible that your problem would be the language. While in most places people do speak English, it is important to learn the local language as soon as possible.

Preparing before the move

Dealing with cultural differences is made more difficult by stress. If you are stressed, you are less open to new experiences. So, making sure you prepare well for the move itself in order to make it less stressful is incredibly important. Specifically when moving overseas, making sure you are properly packed for the move, and all of your belongings are safe in crates. If you don’t have to worry about your belongings being damaged during the move, you are much less stressed. Therefore, good preparation is essential for an overseas move.

Build cultural understanding and awareness

It can be easy to stick with what you know rather than trying to meet people who are different. However, trying to actively understand and embrace cultural differences opens you to all sorts of new experiences. Trying to work out your own beliefs and personal biases can be difficult, or even quite challenging.

Learn as much as you can about the new culture

Doing your own research into the new culture you find yourself can help with understanding the cultural differences between your previous home and wherever you move to. The first step to dealing with (and accepting) cultural differences is understanding them. Putting more effort into understanding the people around you helps with integrating into the culture.

Collection of books on a table
Learning about a culture makes it easier to get used to it.

Make some new friends

One of the easiest ways to understand a new culture is to make friends with people who know it. After all, it is much easier to learn from other people than online. Just remember to think beyond any stereotypes you might have about the people that surround you. Thinking about people in broad strokes could limit your opportunities. As such, when approaching someone you might want to befriend, remember that everyone is unique, and keep an open mind. Finding support in the community will offer you someone to lean on. Local friends can even help you find a good school for your kids.

Be honest with yourself

Be honest with yourself about your confusion. When lost in a new culture, don’t be shy to ask for help and advice. Whether you ask the locals about where to go or what to do, or look up the experiences of other people online, it is extremely helpful inform yourself when you are confused or disoriented.

Conclusion

Moving into a new country can be quite an ordeal. One of the first thing that awaits is to deal with cultural differences when you move overseas. Dealing with cultural differences and cultural shock is quite a headache for the unprepared. Making new friends and opening yourself up to new experiences might seem difficult, but overcoming cultural shock and settling into a new home overseas can be quite easy if you go into it with an open mind.

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