5 Recommendations as You Integrate into a New Country
You have moved to a new country, unpacked the boxes, determined the fastest route to your children’s school, and maybe even hung a few pictures up in every room. These things are all positive steps toward integrating into your new home and community, but the integration process goes much deeper.
You and your family have gone through a tangible, physical change. You have moved to a new location and found a new home. This change likely happened quickly, however the integration process is a much slower one. It is an internal experience. Think of it like you would a major life transition, such as going from teenager to adult, single to married, parent to empty nester. Making the transition from one stage to the next happens over time.
It is important to consider the stages of transition when you move to a new country and location. Working through the transition stages will help you mindfully gain power over your circumstance in order to get you back into thriving and being connected in your new country.
Implement these recommendations as you process the transition and fully integrate into your new country:
1. Manage where you are at in your relocation.
What are your urgent priorities and needs? There will be so many things to address during your relocation. To conserve your energy and mental space, make a list of urgent items that must be addressed first, such as meals, the kid’s schedules, medical needs, etc.
2. Create a few short-term goals.
These will change as you work through your new environment, but they may keep you sane as you adapt to the changes around you. This may be locating a fitness centre, mapping a jogging route, or finding a local coffee house where you can go to study the new language.
3. Acknowledge what is difficult and what has changed.
Work through the emotional feelings around those changes as you integrate. You may have been excited about the move, but that does not mean that you will not miss your previous life, your friends, maybe even a sport club you were very involved with. When change happens, you have to process that change and possibly grieve the losses you have experienced.
4. Before re-creating a new routine for yourself, research what it is you want to invest your time in.
This relocation is an opportunity! What are areas, hobbies, or expertise that you have wanted to try out? Maybe now is the time to venture out or challenge yourself. There are ways you can profit from this relocation both professionally or personally.
5. Once you have established habits, routines, and goals for yourself, venture out and connect with the world around you.
Connect with like-minded individuals. Talk with your neighbours. I promise you, you are not betraying your friends at home! You are just adding more.
Once you have transitioned well into your new country, you will find that being connected and thriving in your host country will add experience, depth, global knowledge, and expertise into your life. The integration process may take longer than expected, but being intentional throughout the process will make the overall experience that much richer for you and your family.