4 Things That Change When You Live Abroad

Posted by on Feb 1 | 2016

Relocating abroad for work is not only one of the most exciting professional challenges one can face; it’s also one of the greatest life adventures you could ever have. The exposure to new cultures broadens your perspective and is a stimulus to personal growth. Those who have the opportunity to live abroad for work experience plenty of benefits (and challenges) along the way.

Changes To Expect When Living Abroad

A lot changes when you spend a great deal of time in a new culture. Understanding these changes helps you navigate your new lifestyle and ensures that you reap all of the rewards that a life abroad has to offer.

The following are four things that change when you live abroad.

  1. You Learn to Minimize and Prioritize
  2. Moving abroad forces you to prioritize your current lifestyle. You need to consider what’s most valuable to you when deciding what to take with you when you move. For many, living abroad is a chance to have a new start and choose to leave behind many items that they seldomly use.

    Minimizing possessions allows you to reevaluate the important things in your life. When you live in a new culture, you become exposed to the values of the area and its people. This forces you to reconsider your way of life, and opens new possibilities for growth.

  3. You Learn to Accept a Different Way of Doing Things
  4. Not everything will work the same in a new country. Every culture has their own unique way of doing things. Although this might create some frustration in the early stages of your move, you’ll soon learn to accept these new norms over time.

    Something that can be done easily back home may require more time and patience in a new culture. Transferring money from bank accounts and scheduling maintenance for your new home may seem more complicated, but accepting the differences in how things are done makes it much easier to settle into a new culture.

  5. You Develop an Appreciation for Your Native Country
  6. Even when you come to accept and appreciate your new culture, living abroad teaches you to appreciate everything you have back home. You’ll likely find yourself reflecting on things that brought you pleasure such as favorite foods, locations, and activities that may not be as readily available in your new country.

    In addition, the people you meet in your new home will express a great deal of interest in your home country. This gives you an opportunity to share all of the positive aspects of home and realize that every country has something unique to offer.

  7. Adopting New Behaviors and Norms
  8. Don’t be surprised if some of the things you see in your new culture seem downright strange, but do consider that many of your own customs are foreign to outsiders as well.

    Over time, you’ll begin to adopt many of the cultural norms and traditions. This gives you insight into the culture and helps you connect more deeply with the locals. Whether it’s making your way around town or using proper etiquette during meals, adopting the local behaviors will make you feel more at home wherever you are.

These are four things that change when you live abroad. When you know what to expect, your transition into a new culture is seamless and rewarding. Reestablishing your own personal priorities while learning to accept a new way of life gives you a chance to truly benefit from a life abroad.

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