Last week, we introduced you to the first of a series of three articles about the main misconceptions people have about the idea of living abroad. In search of the answer for all their problems, people tend to fantasize a lot about going to another country as if they were going to the Promised Land. And this mistake can lead to a lot of deception and frustration.
This week I am going to show you some more things you shouldn’t think of as true when it comes to moving abroad. You can check the first part here, and the second part will be published on the 18th of December, in exactly one week.
8 – Going abroad will give you a fresh start, and it will change your life completely: Many people get motivated to go abroad as an opportunity to start over and erase all the mistakes they did before. Well, this is not entirely true. Think that moving to another country resumes itself in taking a person and putting him/her in another place – by itself, this doesn’t change anybody. You may go somewhere where nobody knows you, but you will still be you – if you want to have a new life, you need to be a new person – bringing your old vices and habits will only make you meet new people that will think the same way about you as your acquaintances in your home country. But of course, going abroad can change you, but mostly because of the fact that it will make you face challenges that you didn’t have to think about before – it will make you stronger, as long as you face them and keep strong.
7 – Moving abroad will be easy and fun: LIE – Hopefully it will have a lot of fun times about it, but don’t think for a second that it will be easy. After all, moving to another country entails leaving your whole life behind, being by yourself and facing a life you weren’t used to before. There’s nothing easy about being away from your family, friends and leaving the life you used to have behind for the complete unknown.
Of course there is a silver lining, don’t let these possibilities cloud the good things that may come from it. Moving can also bring a lot of good new things, and it is important that you stay open to them.
6 – Going abroad means that you will get a job, earn a better salary and be able to save some money: Think that, if you’re moving abroad to live on your own and be independent, you are going to face a whole bunch of expenses for which you haven’t planned – visas, medicines, trips, season clothes, even toiletries. And this is not something that will only happen in the first month – adapting to a new currency and economy may put you in a tight situation for a few months until you get the hang of it. So try not to go shopping like crazy and save your money for the harsh times.
5 – Learning the language of the country is going to be so easy when you’re there: So you speak English and are going to live in Japan? What makes you think that being surrounded by Japanese speaking people will be any helpful as it is? If anything, you are going to be thrown in a place where you don’t understand anybody. Don’t underestimate the language of the country you are going to. Try to learn it as early as you can, do courses, read a lot and try to be really immersed in the culture. Hearing people talk it every day is good up to the point you get familiar with it, but you won’t make any sense of it if you don’t throw yourself whole at learning it from grammar to “thinking in it”.
Super important: One of the worst enemies of learning the language of the country will be other people from your own country there, if you are put in a situation with other residents – if you are going to mingle with other foreigners (especially if you are all learning the language), try your most not to speak in your native language, that will only make things worse.
Stay tuned for the final part of this article with the last four items on December the 18th!