Working and studying overseas is an incredible opportunity for most people. Unfortunately, perhaps because of the difficulty of mingling with those brought up in cultures totally different from one’s own, not everyone is able to make the most out of their stay abroad. This often ends up with them not being able to truly experience anything that they couldn’t have at home, which is quite a shame when it happens.
Set up a local bank account and phone number
You’re not a tourist – you’re an expat. You’re primarily concerned with working or studying rather than the usual touristy stuff. Consequently, you will have to take on similar challenges as most locals do. You’ll find you can only get so far on your international credit card and your foreign bank account before the fees start to become unreasonable.
Having a local bank account and a local phone number will solve many of these issues, allowing you to focus on work and leisure.
If the opportunity to travel presents itself, take it! Yes, you’re here to work or study, but you might as well take the opportunity to explore what your host country has to offer.
Chances are your host country is more diverse than you thought it would be, with sights, sounds, flavors, and experiences in one region that are virtually unknown in the region you’re assigned to. Be sure to mitigate your travel risks by investing in international insurance from a company that specializes in it, such as Now Health International.
Be part of local groups and classes
If you have decent enough language skills and there are groups engaged in a hobby or interest that you enjoy, by all means, join them. You can check local listings and social media groups for access to these like-minded locals. You can also ask your expat friends to hook you up.
Not only will you be able to make more local friends this way, but you will also be able to actively engage in something that interests you, making your stay abroad that much more enjoyable.
Attend local festivals
Festivals offer an insight into the values and history a specific community holds dear. Every community will typically have its own set of festivities that reflect on their origins or events that have totally changed them forever.
Festivals are also typically about inclusivity, and as an expat, you’ll find that these are a good opportunity to find out more about the mindset and values of people in it. Besides, if you ever need an excuse to party, these festivals might just be it.
Make an effort to go out
You may be feeling overwhelmed at living in an alien environment, but you should resist the urge to stay in your room during your rest days. Don’t take your time abroad for granted.
If you have the means and aren’t sick, your rest days are a wonderful opportunity to just take in life in your host country. Create a bucket list of things to see or do in your local community and go through them each time.
Don’t forget to take pictures!
You’re never too cool to take pictures of things and places you find interesting abroad. A lot of expats express regret at not taking enough pictures. You may not always have the means to return to your host country after you go back home, so taking pictures can be an important way of recording your stay and capturing your growth as a person at that moment in time.