Relocating Because of Your Job
The relocation struggle of adapting to a new place is something that we should be aware of. Not to mention if you have kids and pets relocating with you. Asking for help (coaching) is a smart way to proceed because isn’t the same to travel and spend a couple of days in a place and feeling that you own it on a vacation trip, than start living in between a different culture, different language, and different weather no matter how close you go. What if the economic system is also different?
I experienced such change when moving to Center Europe, where is a socialist system. I was used to the Center-Capitalism system where you can get all you want as long as you work for it, but Center Europe kind of made me feel overwhelmed completely. I felt that I had to learn everything all over again and I almost fell into a depression, because I felt so much differences that I had the impression to be in a different planet or so. Although adapting to the language (s) was the key to understand the system and the people. I started making research over the culture, language (s), traditions, etc. Since I had a career based in the Law faculty, I started using what I learned in the University when understanding the Jurisprudence of the country, using “their own language”.
Once I started merging into the culture, everything went easier. And in consequence I started feeling better; people started sharing their insight knowledge of how the system works and what to do in different situations. I also started using their language more than mine and helped me to understand the way they think. So, I advise you to merge in and use what you’ve got, to:
Learn the language, learn the structure, enjoy their food, enjoy their local events, learn their jokes, assist to local churches (in case you practice a religion), learn their music, enjoy their weather activities, enjoy their own way to love, etc. There is never enough to say when adapting to a new place.
You may want to run back to your previous country once or twice in the first semester after the honeymoon of the ‘new love’ is over, because the frustration of a new culture can be a very heavy experience, but don’t give up; you are being trained by life to become a more international minded person. Also, you may feel that nothing makes sense in this new place, but that’s okay… and true, because you have to learn to do the things in a different way.
If you are an overprotecting parent, you might want to think twice. I remember having students that their parents wanted their children to have the education way exactly as back home… that would be VERY difficult and unhealthy for the kids. See, the kids are surrounded by different people, listening to different jokes, different language (either idioms or linguistics), living in a different weather that may change their natural color, looking at different traditions; etc; and forcing them to preserve everything is way too much pressure on your kids. They need to make friends and learn that things are different outside home, although never let them lose their first language (s), because that’s a pity! And if for some reason they are learning a different alphabet too, please make an effort (either you or a private teacher) to preserve their writing skills.
Remember when I said that asking for help is okay, well; you can ask for a relocation coach to help you setting up a country booklet according to your family needs, so when you get to the “new place” you will understand faster because you will know the theory already. Also, the resumes and job application processes are different, and here again you can look for a professional to help you with that.
Don’t be afraid to ask a local person that you may consider your new friend about specific things of their country or region. You have to remember that whatever you learn is a plus for your professional future. You will find people that speak the same language that you do and think the same way. Become friends with them and have fun but don’t accommodate too much, because you need local people around you too in order to learn more and more every day! And also because the ones that share your mind may be only in transition. I remember that I spent making new friends the first two years, because once I made a friend, they were ready to go… it sounds sad, but it helped me professionally speaking so much!