7 Challenges You Need to Overcome After Moving to Another Country

By Neil White, 14 February, 2018

Moving to a foreign country or a different continent is always terrifying. Sure, people dread the idea of leaving their comfort zone behind but they are also fearful of what lies ahead and rightfully so. While some cultural barriers may currently sound like an interesting piece of trivia, once you move to your target destination, they may become a huge part of your day-to-day life. To some, they are an impassable obstacle, to others, just another challenge to overcome. With this in mind, here are seven major challenges you will have to overcome after moving to another country.

1.      The language barrier

Even though it is true that English is a universal language, spoken by a lot of people all over the world, when it comes to actually living in a country where the English language is not native, this knowledge might not suffice. Sure, you can interact with a customer service of a major company in English but you have to rely on non-verbal communication when asking for direction or bargaining in a farmer’s market. Not to mention that the knowledge of a local language might be a requirement for you to gain a better employment opportunity. In either way, learning the language of the culture you are currently in should, beyond doubt, be your No. 1 priority.

2.      Getting accustomed to local prices

While it is true that the global market now reaches every corner of the world, a lot of people are shocked to find out that prices at their new home aren’t the same as they were in the homeland. Locally produced goods are always more affordable, while imported goods often have inflated price. Moreover, different countries have different purchasing power parities, which is something worth checking before heading out. The best way to make this comparison is to check out the Big Mac Index, which is a quite accurate interactive tool used even by some of the world’s largest companies when planning a move.

3.      Learning about the local currency

The difference in price is not the only thing that can pose a budgeting problem in a distant land. Learning the ratio of the local currency compared to your native currency is also quite important. Sure, there are numerous efficient apps out there you can use but how time-efficient it is to have to rely on an app, every time you have to purchase a can of soda or every time you go grocery shopping? Sure, the ratio of Yen to USD is almost 1 to 1, while the ratio of Yuan to USD is almost 6 to 1, however, not all comparisons are that well rounded up. Nevertheless, this is something you will get accustomed to in time.

4.      Study the local legal system

You would be surprised how many things don’t translate across cultures. Moreover, even countries that are members of the same cultural group, language and heritage (for instance the U.S. and Australia) might have some crucial differences when it comes to mundane legal issues. For instance, trials by jury are incredibly rare in Australia, while in the U.S. the Seventh Amendment provides this right in almost every case. Furthermore, civil awards in Australia are nowhere near the amount of those in America. Making a mistake due to the ignorance is seldom going to be a valid excuse, which is why it might be a good idea to look for reliable local lawyers or law firm, just in case, as soon as you land.

5.      Getting a job

A lot of people migrate in order to look for a more lucrative business offer, yet those who don’t already have a workplace guaranteed might find out that this is not as easy as it seems. The above-discussed language barrier is always a factor and even if you are highly skilled or educated, your credentials might not be recognized by local companies and organizations. For this reason alone, it is more than wise to ensure your credentials are going to be recognized before you actually head out. In this way, there is a lot you can do before you set out. This is one of those problems that should be dealt with as soon as possible.

6.      Looking for the right lodging

In the age of the internet, it is quite easy to look for the average price of rent or even real estate in the location you intend to travel to. Surely, altruism can be found in most uncommon of places but there is always the risk of an unscrupulous landlord, trying to cheat a foreigner in order to get a better pay. Furthermore, while there are numerous reliable online platforms, you can never know the real state of the place before you pay a visit to it in person. This is why it might be helpful to find a temporary lodging solution for the first several days. Here, you can go from Airbnb to renting a room in a hotel.

7.      The issues of transportation

Finally, like everywhere else, each city has its own methods of transportation. Those moving to Amsterdam will be dazzled with the number of cyclists in the streets, while migrants to Asian countries might have their first encounter with rickshaws as a mean of transportation. In most first world countries, the use of taxi and Uber is, more or less, the same, however, there may be some significant differences when it comes to the use of public transportation. Either way, figuring out most efficient routes, itineraries and methods is something that will come to you in time, although, online forums and apps are more than helpful here.

In conclusion

Finally, learning local customs and adopting a mindset of a local is something that can take decades. The reason why we focused on these above-listed technical issues is due to the fact that they are necessary for your day-to-day interactions and, as such, vital for the success of your migration. As we stated several times before, time helps you get accustomed to any circumstances, yet, being prepared ahead of time is always a sound plan.