Choosing to emigrate and permanently live in another country is a big decision for you and your family. While you are probably moving there for better opportunities and an improved way of life, you might worry about how your kids will adjust, and how your wider family back home might feel.
In this article, we’ll list some ways that you can integrate into your new community quickly and easily, and soon feel right at home. We’ll also include some ways to keep in touch with family back in your home country to make the transition easier for both of you.
Learn the Language Before You Go
If you’re moving to a country that speaks a different language, the first and most important thing you should do is learn the language. If you can’t speak or read it, you’ll find it very hard to communicate with locals and access the things you need.
Of course, once you’re there, picking it up will be easy as you’ll use it every day – but it’s a really good idea to learn some before you go so it doesn’t seem completely alien upon arrival.
Most children pick up new languages surprisingly easily. Enroll your children in language classes before you leave, and they’ll soon be teaching you! This will do wonders with helping them settle in and make friends in their new school.
Keep in Touch with Home
It’s very important to keep in close contact with family and friends back home to make your transition easier. See your relocation as a chance to strengthen relationships – you’ll make the most of the times you do see each other, and make efforts to call and text.
Plus, you both have a free place to stay when you visit each other’s countries! Invite them to stay regularly.
When moving abroad, you may think it will be harder to financially support your family (like elderly parents) like you used to, or send gifts on special occasions. Luckily, there are mobile apps now which allow you to make bank transfers in seconds, like Pangea Money Transfer. You can securely send money to India, China, Thailand, and 12 other countries for a flat fee at the push of a button.
Vice versa, they can send money to support you too. The internet means that family ties can stay as strong as ever when relatives move away, and sending money is no exception.
Join in with Your Community
Dive straight into community groups and clubs, so that you learn the language much faster and make friends as you go.
Here’s some ideas for adults, kids and all the family for getting involved in your new community:
- If you’re religious, join your local place of worship
- Join the gym or a local sports team
- Dance, yoga, or music classes
- Simply take the kids to the park regularly when you first move – which is great for them to meet other kids, and you’ll meet parents!
Enroll your children into school ASAP. The quicker they get into a routine that feels familiar, the faster they’ll love their new home.
Get into Work or Volunteering
The best way to settle into a new country is to instantly put your energy into work. Meeting likeminded people through your shared career is a great method of making friends, and obviously, you need a job to bring home money for your family.
If you have a child of working age, encourage them to get a part-time café or retail job to further integrate themselves.
If working isn’t an option, there are always volunteering opportunities. Did you move to be near the sea? Why not volunteer as a life guard, or join a beach cleaning operation? Find your nearest animal shelter to help at, or soup kitchen that provides food for the homeless.
Keeping busy will help ward off homesickness, and the more different things you get involved with, the sooner you’ll be familiar with your surroundings.