Starting a life in a new country is a big deal. You'll probably feel scared, lonely, and excited at the same time. I know I did...
The good news is, you're not alone. Out of every 30 people you meet, at least one of them is an immigrant.
Having gone through the journey of starting my life in a new country, here are a few actions that made the transition easier for me.
1. Learn the Language
Learning the language of your new country will make everything easier. You'll be able to:
Make new friends
Find your way around
Do well in school
Get a job
2. Make New Friends
How do you meet new people? Well, there are LOTS of ways! I registered for English as Second Language classes at the community college and met other immigrants in class. Here are a few more ideas:
Join community organizations
Go to community events
Pick up a new hobby
Attend religious services
Take a class
The more connections you build with the community, the more people you meet, the more connected and supported you'll feel. You could start reaching out to people even before you move!
3. Be You
It's important to learn how to navigate your new country and try new things, but it's also important to be YOU.
Staying connected with family and friends in your home country
Making new friends who share your heritage in your new country
Celebrating your holidays
Sharing your culture with others
This will help you feel grounded and connected, especially during times of homesickness and culture shock.
4. Beware of Culture Shock
Culture shock is the feeling of disorientation and discomfort that comes from being in a new and unfamiliar environment.
It can look and feel different for everyone, such as:
Struggling to adjust to the new culture
Feeling homesick and lonely
Feeling like you don't belong anywhere anymore (my personal struggle)
Culture shock is a normal part of immigration. Talk to your friends or find professional help to cope with culture shock.
Ana moved to the United States last month, and though she already has a job and has met a few people, she feels uncomfortable in her new life. What could help her cope with culture shock? Select all that apply:
Start building a foundation for your new life!