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4 Ways to Prepare for Moving Overseas

You’ve found a place to stay, processed your visa, and notified the bank. All the administrative preparations are complete, now all you have to do is wait until your move date. But if you’re feeling antsy, here are four ways you can continue to get ready for moving overseas.

1. Get to know the language

If the national language is different where you’re moving, try learning to speak as much as you can. If you can hold a conversation in your new country’s language, it can be helpful while you’re trying to get your bearings. Try speaking the language as much as you can. Incorporate everyday words or phrases into your life at home. You can make it fun for your family by placing notes with basic vocab words in the corresponding rooms. For example, write the words for toothbrush, water, medicine, and shower on a notecard in the bathroom.

You can even build your vocabulary without much effort by turning on the subtitles on shows and movies you’re already planning to watch. Although it might be difficult to understand, you’ll be able to pick up on the rhythm and structure of the language. You might also learn a few slang terms that coworkers might use.

2. Familiarize yourself with the area

Search local news sources in your new area to keep up to date with current events. Pay attention to common cities, people, and events. These little facts will help you connect more with the area, and you’ll be able to contribute to (and keep up with) conversations with coworkers. Getting help from a local expert is good too.

3. Head into the kitchen

Headed to India? Experiment with curries. Taking off to Japan? Discover your favorite sushi. By experimenting with foods in your kitchen and at local restaurants, you’ll start to get a taste for the local cuisine. Even though the preparation and ingredients might not be the same as what you’ll experience in the country, it’ll still help to have an idea of some of the flavors that you can expect.

4. Meet the people

Another great way to familiarize yourself with your new country ahead of moving there is to get involved with expats in your current country. Volunteer at an organization or join a group with natives of your destination country. Most major cities are cultural hubs, and you’ll likely be able to find people from where you’re headed or a group who is passionate about other cultures. For example, you could join a Francophone society to meet a diverse group of people who will be able to offer excellent advice. Or maybe you volunteer at a naturalization ceremony to form friendships with previous citizens of your new destination. Sharing personal experiences and beliefs in these groups is the best way to anticipate challenges, find a favorite place to eat, and break down stereotypes from both cultures.

Whenever you’re moving to a new place, communication plays a big role. Thankfully, there are many ways that cultures communicate, whether it’s through words, non-verbal cues, or traditions. Want to get comfortable with your new culture’s communication before you step on a plane? Use Dwellworks Direct CultureCloud training to learn everything you need to know about your new home. Our comprehensive online training is the best way to prepare for moving overseas and can help you feel more confident as you settle into a foreign land. Interested in learning more about how CultureCloud can help you? Learn more here.