My top 5 tips to help you fit in as an Expat
Being an African who grew up having English as a second mother tongue, fitting in as an Expat in Austria was not easy. It took a lot of hard work and dedication to stay true to who I am while adapting to the different environment,that being said if I achieved it then you can as well. Here are my 5 tips to help make your Expat life easy:
Learning the Language
It feels like it was just yesterday that I first step foot in Austria with my Husband and my then 2 years old daughter. As simple as it sounds becoming fluent in the local language is the main step towards fitting into any country.You will find yourself being more appreciated and welcomed as you make an effort to communicate with the Locals in your environment.
Try living like a local
As humans, most of us like to crawl into our little shell and just stick with the basics and do things that only works for us and make us feel comfortable,but doing so will never get you to adjust to your new environment. Try getting to know a little about your host country by simply watching local news channel now and then,even though my husband and I like to watch our preferred tv channels we try watching the local channels as well.Learning the public holidays and their meanings if you can and by trying out their dishes(my favorite dish in Austria is goulash).These may sound like nothing but trust me it makes a big differences because it gives you something to talk about when you run into your neighbors,which brings us to our next point.
Communicate with the locals
Try to be warm and interactive with your neighbors. If you are single, you can simply ask around for places you can go to meet friends to meet anther people. I recommend not getting to know too many people from your home country right at the beginning, for that will only slow down the process of you trying to fit in your host country. For parents like myself,you can meet other parents with children and maybe organize a play date once in a while for the children to play together while parents communicate with each other.
Try finding a job
It can be very difficult finding job in a Foreign country ,but ones you get employed you gain more confidence and feel like you are contributing to your host country which makes you feel at home.
Keeping in touch with your people at home.
Living in another Country will change the way you see your own Country but that shouldn’t make you rejecting your own culture.Keeping in touch with family and friends,sharing your experiences and way of living will be a constant reminder of your origin and help you build a bicultural identity over all making you a better person.