Integrating in Your New Home Country
Integration is all about adaptation. You have to learn and accept things, occasionally also change your thinking, behavior and perception. Things, events will occur to challenge your current perception of your new home. When you are in downs you might even question your decision to relocate and of course you might have some experiences that will make you aware that it is not easy at all to integrate in your new home.
Key Things to Settle & Integrate
Be Open Minded
This can be really challenging sometimes. But when you move to another country, there is no choice, you have to be open minded. Normally we have a set of beliefs and values and also surround ourselves with people sharing the same values and thoughts as we. On some topics I have strong views and it is hard to influence my view, but having a strong mindset and open mind can work together. Open your mind and being curious is a must when you are planning to settle in a new country.
Improve Your Language Skills
Every persons are more opened when they can talk their own languages. Be patient with yourself and try to learn the language of your new home country. You might not speak it perfectly, but at least you can listen to conversations happening around. First of all everybody around you appreciates your efforts, and most importantly you can integrate into your new home country faster. If you are already speaking the language, you can still master it by talking to your colleagues in their own language, reading articles in the language.
Make New Friends
In the old home country everyone has his/her social life: friends from childhood, school, university, workplaces, festivals. It is quite hard to make new friends where you don`t have something common: the studies, the shared experience or the shared memories. It is a hard that back home you have your social life, but in your new home you don`t really have friends. You need to constantly work on building a social life in your new home. To have a social life and surround yourself with people & friends you can trust is vital to feel home. Try to meet new people by joining expat groups, volunteering, becoming member in clubs of your interest. You should consciously work on to create your own circle and social life, because as always you will always have challenges in your life, and might be easier to share your challenges, ask for advise from people in the same situation, from the same country.
Care About Old Friends
With the excitement of moving to a new country, you should not forget about your true friends. As time goes the intensity of the friendships will decline as you do not share any more as many memories with them as before. Also with time you will find out who are the friends who really care about you and were not just hanging out with you. You have to appreciate these old friendships and care about it, even if the intensity is not too high, at the end they are the friends know you the most and they can help to mentally overcome any challenges. For them it was also hard that they “lost” one of their best friends so you should also take good care of them.
Expect the Unexpected
Stay realistic in your new environment but expect the unexpected. Things will happen that you imagined completely differently or would never thought about before. You may experience emotional extremes, from loving your new environment until being sad, having homesickness and frustration with some aspects of life. The initial phases are the hardest (but also can change in one second rapidly), you are realistically going to experience mixed feelings over years. It is hard to be already out of your comfort zone and manage unexpected things, but this is not only happening to you.
Take Those Help Offers
When you are new somewhere, many people will offer to help with moving, administration, tax advises, where to go, showing a bit around. Don`t be shy and take these help offers, even if you are confident to make it all yourself. These offers don`t come back later when you are settled, it can be a good option to know people around more.
What is ON in Luxembourg for Expats
To meet new people you can consider to use these tools, organizations:
You can register for free or buy your membership to participate in certain events. There are 2 big international events each month, usually parties. It is a great thing to meet with new people, although not my personal favourite.
Website : https://www.internations.org/
At MeetUp you can click on your interests and you can sign up for smaller group events to meet with people sharing the same interests.
This is the first professional association for women in Luxembourg. They organize great events around working as a professional woman in Luxembourg. Every month they have an event, which they share openly. You can buy the tickets online.
During the Hub Dot events, several topics such as challenge, reinvention and entrepreneurship are proposed by distinguished storytellers invited to share their unique story. During these meetings, you can enjoy a glass of wine, talk to other women, listen to inspiring presentations and learn more about yourself and others or share your own story. Everyone has a story to tell. You may attend these gatherings for several reasons: becoming inspired by other women stories, make friends, talk, ask for help to develop a career plan, conduct business, or come just for pure networking time.
For me was hard at the beginning to take part in these events, as after work sometimes you are just not the most open-minded person. On those days it is better to just stay home and relax a bit. Don`t push it, when it does not come from inside that today you need to be there, don`t go. Only go to events when you feel more open and social. And most importantly if you did not like one event, try to stay optimistic and go for the next one, maybe you were not in good mood or you just have not met with the right persons.
My advice for all being an expat is to be extremely open minded, select the people with whom you want to spend the time, start to be slowly part of the social life in your new home country as in the future they will be your friends who can help through challenges and share fun.
Thanks for reading,