Preparing Mentally For A Move Overseas

So you are contemplating a move overseas. What should you do to prepare, mentally, for what awaits? A move, be it down the street or to another country, can be incredibly stressful. Here are a few tips to make for a smoother transition:

  1. Don’t romanticize the process. Paris is one of the most romantic cities on the planet, but building up your expectations may lead to a big let down once you’ve settled into everyday life in a new place.

  2. You’re in a foreign country, don’t expect for everything to be the same as back home. Things will be different. You’re a fish out of water. Change is good. Be open to the differences you are about to encounter.

  3. Research is vital before you contemplate a move. Learn as much as you can, but the reality is you won’t know everything. Tackle the major things instead: What is the average cost of rental housing and food? Is there a hospital near me in the event I get sick? Are you traveling with children? Where is the closest school?

  4. Are my language skills up to the challenge? As an English speaker, I know if I choose to live in Paris I will find a number of locals that are fluent in my language. However, the same cannot be said outside the City of Light. Consider language lessons before the move and once you arrive at your destination. At the very least you will be better prepared to go about the mundane tasks of life, ordering take-out food or going asking directions from a native speaker, for example. At best you can use your language skills to seek employment in your new home.

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The next episode: “Learning About France: The Research Process” will be available Wednesday, December 5.