Global mobility always requires expatriation, whether for a long or short period of time but it can be a rewarding experience if you engage with this new life, in order to reduce the period of adjustment and ensure seamless integration.

A well-prepared expat project makes your arrival and integration in a new country much easier. But relocating to another country always means a dramatic change of life in terms of daily routine, as well as emotional upheaval. You must therefore take some necessary steps to prevent any risk of failure.

Adapting to a new country does not happen overnight. New cultural codes, different living conditions and homesickness are factors that can prove to be real obstacles to successful integration.

But achieving a successful move and being a happy expat is possible for all. By being curious, accepting others as they are, being open to cultural differences, this new chapter in your professional life can be a constructive experience.

Here is some key advice to make integration easier and shorten the period of adjustment.

Discover your new environment and go beyond cultural barriers 

People have different attitudes when moving to a new country. But showing curiosity is undeniably a good way to get used to your new environment. Taking advantage of your free time to discover the local attractions, visit cultural sites, have a quick chat with people you don’t know and try to understand the local customs is essential for successful integration.

Engage with the locals 

Staying among your own expat community is often the easy way out when arriving in a new country. Being surrounded by a familiar community is reassuring and avoids the feeling of being uprooted. But successful integration involves opening up to others. It is important to try and engage with the locals to better understand their habits and lifestyle, as well as increasing your language proficiency. Getting to know people who share the same interests (sports, leisure activities, hobbies, etc.) allows you to gradually integrate and create contacts within a new circle.

Stay in touch with your home country 

We recommend you keep a bond with your country of origin so as not to feel totally cut from your friend and family and alone in this new adventure. Today’s means of communication make international exchanges much easier (e-mails, internet, messaging apps, social networks, etc.) and enable people to share their experiences and be supported by their family and friends during difficult times or share moments of happiness.

Homesickness if perfectly normal: just embrace it as part of the experience!

Feeling blue and uprooted is quite normal during the adjustment phase. Being able to express this feeling of rejection with trusted people (friends, colleagues, family, etc.) will help you overcome this challenging time and fully engage with the new life that is in front of you.

Expats often have positive feedback about their experience abroad. Beginning this journey with confidence and open-mindedness is the best way to achieve a successful move abroad.

Further reading:

Careful preparation: the key to a successful international move

Returning from abroad: readapting to your home country