Shifting to a new country and starting a life there has its challenges and hurdles. Language and cultural barriers may add up more to these challenges. Settling into new surroundings takes time and it is important to set realistic expectations out of yourself for the same. It wouldn’t be easy to make new friends and establish a network of people, whom you can rely on in the starting months.
Initially, you may also find it uncomfortable to take that first step and strike a conversation. This discomfort is completely valid to have, however it would require you to step out of your comfort zone someday. In the beginning, it would be helpful to connect with or relying on people who are from your cultural background. As here cultural and language barriers will diminish. This may also provide you an opportunity to meet new people via them and assimilate.
Hesitation will always be present in trying out new things, but instead of holding yourself back, you can start by saying yes to new experiences. As the outcome can be pleasant. However, it is important to ensure that you feel safe at the same time. Going a step ahead and learning the local language and slangs will be helpful in improving communication.
You can explore both online and offline ways of connecting with people. Understand what apps in that particular country are the most used to make connections. Joining those apps will help you reach people even beyond the place that you stay. Establishing familiar connections in your locality is also important as these are the people who can help you during difficult times. To meet locals, you can first start exploring nearby places. If there are any dinners, cafes, or shops that you like visiting and would want to keep visiting in the future. As you will be a regular person at these places, you will meet the same people each time and befriend them. You can also join clubs or communities in your university that you are interested in. This also opens ways to meet new people you especially share similar interests as you.
In the process of making friends, you might have some pleasant experiences but will also face many rejections. It is normal to feel disappointed due to these setbacks. During such times remember that you are not alone and have people back in the country you came from. You can talk to your family or your friends and express yourself freely. Remember that you already took a major step that is shifting to a new place, thus you have the courage and strength of settling in too. It is important to understand that friendships cannot be established in a day and you may require to be very patient in this journey. It may take some time, but if you are persistent with your efforts, they will eventually be rewarded.
Importance of Professional Counseling: A friend or family member may listen to you, but they aren’t professionally, technically qualified or experienced to offer you professional advice. If you wish you can contact us at MindTribe to receive help from our team of expert psychologists.
MindTribe Founder Dr. Prerna Kohli, India’s eminent psychologist, established the company to leverage the strength of the online to make counseling affordable and accessible to everyone. MindTribe provides counseling, workshops, support groups, forums, and eLearning.
About the Author.
Simran Chahal is a psychologist at MindTribe.in.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of MindTribe.in, the Founders, or management team.
Acknowledgement: All images used are open source and from Unsplash.