Moving to a new country involves cultural adjustment. This experience is different for everyone. Some see this as an adventure and will probably have an enjoyable transition. For others, it may involve moving the entire family, including finding new schools for the children, using a foreign language on a daily basis that they are not yet comfortable with. And some make this move because their spouse got a new job, so they have to uproot their support system in order to be with their spouse. If you are enjoying your cultural adjustment, wonderful! If any part of you wishes that your transition were easier, here are some tips for cultural adjustment that you may find helpful.
Provide a sense of stability for yourself
Since there will be many new experience, it would help a great deal if you provide a sense of stability for yourself. This can be as simple as giving your five senses a sense of familiarity.
Comfort for your five senses
For example, if you start the morning with a cup of your favorite tea, make sure you have a supply of that tea. This may sound like a small thing, but taste can be a powerful comfort. When I was in college, international students look forward to care packages from home. They didn’t want any luxury item. What they craved for was the noodles they used to eat back home, or the soup ingredients that they can’t find in the new country.
Connect with others who speak your native language
Hearing the sound of your own language is another comfort. I remember that international students from the same country gravitated toward each other. They simply wanted to talk to someone who sounded like them!
If you do not already have friends here who speak your native language, try searching for meetup groups online. Go to meetup.com and look for language groups. There may be people hoping to practice your native language, which means there’ll be others who speak your language Some libraries have active international communities. You only need a handful of these acquaintances to start feeling more at home.
The article Use your five senses to help with cultural adjustment goes into depth on this topic.
If you find this blog helpful, here is one on How do you adjust to a new culture more easily?
Estrella Chan coaches immigrants and international professionals in English fluency, interview skills, and public speaking. To schedule a session with her, please email firstname.lastname@example.org