Looking abroad has always been a prospect that has attracted people from all corners the world.
They believe in the the pursuit of happiness and the opportunity of a new world and they want a slice for themselves. Most countries has plenty of need for expertise and entrepreneurial thinkers to keep the economy strong, too.
So, how do you make sure that you’re the best fit to reach out and grab a piece of the dream for yourself?
Anticipate some friction: Culture, while an important part of who we are, can be a divisive force. When you first encounter the norms of a country in its communication, in its workplace cultures, and in its media, it can be jarring.
Culture shock makes you feel like everything is “wrong”. You have to learn to anticipate differences, to be mindful and keep your eyes open.
When you start thinking of “wrong” as “different”, it lets you better understand and adapt to the changes.
Be understood: Language is a huge barrier, too. There are a lot of people who make the trip to the west after getting a traditional English education.
They believe they’re ready to live in an English-speaking country, but the truth is that it’s a lot harder than that. You need to find how to improve English speaking skills to really become fluent.
This mostly means coming out of your shell and finding native speakers to practice with. For instance, before you make the move, the online world is full of opportunities to meet people to practice speaking with. Surrounding yourself in the language is the best way to learn how it’s really spoken by natives.
Record your conversations and listen back on them for the differences between how you talk and how native speakers talk. Watch English-language TV and films. Listen to English-language audiobooks. Jump in the deep end.
Get immersed in the market and the culture: The dream of living abroad isn’t just about living there, of course.
It’s about finding success, whether academically, in your career, or in the world of business. A certain savvy about the culture and the market plays a big role in that. For instance, if you want to start a business, you have to learn to create a brand that fits the landscape of the country.
To that end, paying attention to the branding around you helps you learn the norms and trends that inform your own choices.
Take it slow: You can go too far, too quick when trying to acclimate to a life in a foreign country. For instance, in some countries, self-promotion is one of the most frowned upon taboos.
However, in the US, some would consider it mandatory to really grab your own success.
But if you take that to heart too much, you could instead come off as selfish or too competitive and might end up sabotaging your own chances. Watching and learning the acceptable boundaries of changes is essential.
Success isn’t guaranteed any country, just as it isn’t guaranteed anywhere in the world. But it truly is a great opportunity for those who are willing to accept it for what it is and put their nose to the grindstone.
Hopefully, the tips above help you do just that.