The Emotional Aspects Of The Life Of An Expat

by Xenia Kisantal

The decision of moving to a foreign country is one of a kind. It not only requires planning but also a personality that is capable of conquering anything, as anything sometimes means living on the street, being lonely, and only having oneself to rely upon. This may sound scary, but if handled constructively, it is one of the most rewarding experiences in one’s lifetime. There are certain factors that need special attention and if handled appropriately, they contribute to a successful integration.Be Yourself

First of all, it is important to understand that moving abroad requires an abundance of courage and ability to adapt. It also requires the ability to preserve one’s identity in the process. Often it is tempting to adapt too much and please others to become friends with them, but it is dangerous if it is done on a regular basis. It may result in the representation of a behavior that is alien to the real persona in us. Therefore, we must take care of how much we compromise who we really are.

Learn and Adapt

We must also remember that taking a decision to move is of course our responsibility in first place. This means it is also our responsibility to take steps to understand the cultural aspects that come with our new home. We may not like it all, but we still need to respect the values that a certain society holds dear. Without any previous experience of foreign residence, it is important that we at least use our empathy to understand the people around us and try to communicate on their level and use new information to our advantage. Staying humble, learning, and adapting is the key.

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Whether we look for friends or a job, it is very important that first we take responsibility in reaching out to people. It takes a lot of confidence, but expecting people to do this for us will only extend the period of loneliness, or period of unemployment for that matter.

Be Optimistic

Integration is a difficult process and often requires a lot of trial and error actions, until finally success comes along. Dependent on the age, often individuals already have established ties, and it is therefore difficult and time consuming to socialize. To you they may mean to world, but to them you may just be “that Hungarian girl” they met 2 weeks ago. Some cultures are more open to close contact, others less so. Thus, is important to be optimistic and not give up. To keep on trying is the best bet in this case, and most likely there will be positive response in the long run.

Be Strong

It is of course important to be optimistic, but it is even more important to be strong. Emotional resilience is what keeps us going and trying again. There will be times when crying will be the most viable solution, but do not allow it to become a habit, otherwise it might even result in a creeping depression. It’s important to strongly believe that we are capable of accomplishing anything and overcoming any obstacle in our way, as long as we do not give up.

If we keep these factors in mind, it will only be a matter of time before we find happiness in our new home. It’s important to remember that it is a hard choice, but we must realize that such an adventure teaches so much about the person we truly are and the goals we are capable of accomplishing. In my opinion, this experience is one of the most rewarding life lessons and even after all the tribes and tribulations I would do it all over again. It’s definitely worth a try!

Xenia Kisantal is an international creative content writer at Miinto IE. Xenia is half Hungarian/Ukrainian, and has lived in Belgium and Denmark. She has a background in Communication and EU Studies and she is interested in music, fashion, lifestyle, and travel.


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