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Register.

Register.

Are you required to register with an immigration department shortly after arrival? If so, where do you need to go, what do you need to take with you and how much time do you have? If you did your research well and if you got you papers in order, as suggested in our ABC types before moving, your life should be a lot easier.

Also, always register with your own country’s consulate on arrival at your destination and keep their contact details readily
to hand. The consulate will be an important contact point in the event of a national disaster or other incident affecting foreign nationals in the country. More generally, you may need their help to renew your passport, replace a stolen or lost passport, or in the event thatyou are arrested or run into other major problems while living abroad.

Get connected.

Get connected.

Being an expat is not always easy and being able to stay connected to your friends and family can make a lot of difference. Try as soon as possible to get a mobile phone and an Internet connection.

Regarding your mobile phone note that your current phone may not necessarily work in your new country. Even if your existing phone does work, roaming charges may
be expensive, and it will probably be cheaper to subscribe to a local mobile phone provider as soon as you can after arrival.

When arranging a landline, note that telephone calls to local or international numbers are free in some countries but not in others. Take the time to ask and find the best deal.

If you do not have it, get Skype and get your close ones to use it too. You cannot even imagine how comforting it will be to still be able to sit and chat with them.

Introduce yourself to your neighbors.

Introduce yourself to your neighbors.

Especially for an expat, it is an advantage to have friendly neighbors who can help you with questions or practical things like the refuse collection arrangements and the recycling facilities and requirements.

You could introduce yourself to your neighbors by inviting them to your house for coffee or tea, or a glass of wine in the evening. In some culture it’s expected, in some other it would be perceived as a little bit strange. But no matter the customs, being friendly or polite is never a bad thing.

Dealt with homesickness.

Dealt with homesickness.

When the novelty of moving has worn off, don’t be surprised if you or family members start to feel homesick or experience culture shock. This is part of the normal process of adjusting to
life abroad. Most expatriates will experience it at one time or another, particularly children and non-working spouses. Focus on the positive aspects of life in the new country, and accept that the feelings will (hopefully) pass.

It is normal to go through a “honeymoon stage” on arrival in a new country in which the “foreign-ness” is exciting and charming. However, this is often followed by a period of time during which expatriates experience negative feelings such as frustration and irritation with the way things are done in their new society. Over time, a process of adaptation and integration into the new society usually occurs and the negative feelings disappear, but the time that this takes varies considerably between individuals.

To minimize the effects of culture shock, it helps to find out as much
as possible about life in your new country in advance, and to learn at least some of the language so that you can communicate with the locals. If you had hobbies or pastimes in your previous country, find your new country’s versions of said pastimes and dive in! Maintain an open mind about different lifestyles, and try to stay focused on the positive aspects of life in your new country. And do not forget one thing: it will eventually pass!