Living abroad is a great adventure. This is what you always thought and what all your friends back home said admiring your courage to take the plunge and start a new life abroad. However, after you arrive and the initial excitement starts to fade away, the ugly face of being an expat appears. A daily routine in a foreign country brings along many challenges, not only of the positive kind. Sometimes it’s too exciting and exotic and it’s difficult to find your way around. Sometimes, on the contrary, it is too similar to what you were already used to in your home country and you quickly get tired of the everyday humdrum.

Whatever the reason for it, there’s anyone can avoid the monster called homesickness when living abroad. Chin up, though! These fits of homeland blues are usually very short-lived and, what’s most important, we have well-tried methods to fight them and we are willing to share our tips with you!

First things first

Come well-prepared! The first weeks in your new home are always full of paperwork, formalities and organizing, all of which is enough to make you desperate in a place you know well, but it may turn into a huge obstacle when you move abroad. Caught in the eye of the organizational hurricane, you may not even have time to miss home, which is good, but the nostalgic feeling may come creeping subconsciously when you are overwhelmed by the stress. To avoid that, try to prepare as well as possible for your first steps in the foreign country. You will never be able to cover every potential situation, but the more you know about what to expect, the better.
There are many extensive sources of information available on the Internet nowadays. You can find detailed information on what documents to bring, how to pack, where to look for help, you can find personal accounts of expats already living in your destination country and forums where you can post questions or exchange experiences. Please read the practical guide for people moving abroad for more detailed information.

Inclusion through language

Speaking the language of the country you chose for your abroad experience is not necessarily a prerequisite, however, knowing the language is a great advantage and should be a goal of every expat, at least in the long-run.

You can get by without knowing the language, you can find a job and survive in daily situations, but learning the language of the country you live in is the real key to integration. There’s no better way to find friends in a new country than by learning their language and there’s no greater satisfaction than understanding a joke in a foreign language for the first time. Knowing the language of the country opens many doors and makes many things much easier plus you really feel included in the life of the people and you don’t miss out on any opportunities just because you don’t understand what is going on around you.

Learning German in Germany is facilitated by the state and all people arriving in Germany are strongly encouraged to learn German. One of the options are the integration courses, where you can learn the language and find out more about the German culture which will help you navigate the world around you. There are also special courses in German for professional purposes. These courses are also a great occasion to meet other people in a situation similar to yours and make friends. With all these opportunities, there are no excuses left to avoid learning German. For more information, please visit the page of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees.

Your homeland in miniature

So you’ve survived the initial weeks of organizational chaos, you’ve dealt with all the important stuff, you’ve learned some language, you’ve settled down and made some friends and despite all of that a wave of homesickness comes to haunt you? Why don’t you bring your home country to your new home? From time to time it is soothing to speak your mother tongue, to eat familiar food and to watch a movie or read a book from your homeland.In most places in the world expats organize themselves into groups and meet regularly to exchange experiences and speak to their compatriots. There are just certain topics only people with a background similar to yours will understand.
So next time you feel the expat blues, you can talk to your friends and relatives at home or you can find fellow countrymen in your new environment.
There are plenty of groups and pages of Facebook that serve solely this purpose, many of them are called something like: Spaniards in Germany (Españoles en Alemania). Try to find yours! You can also visit the local embassy or consulate of your home country, they usually have information on any cultural groups and other associations gathering people from your country.

Further reading:

Living Abroad (for Beginners)

The top 10 lies people tell you about living abroad

Companies: Post your job offers here for free!

Do you have vacancies for international candidates? Go ahead!

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Are you homesick?

Our tips to make Germany feel like home

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Several international and local companies have teamed up to fulfill one purpose: bridge the gap between their need for foreign workers and foreign job seekers looking for a job in Germany. Whether the employer is a service provider or a product retailer, they all have qualified job offers for Europeans with a native language relevant to their business.

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