Sindy, blogger at My Life in Germany, shares her expat experience with us and how she felt when she moved abroad. She gives you in her story useful advice to prepare and ease your relocation:
Moving abroad is a dream for many people. Nevertheless, there are usually fears associated with the move. When I was 24 years old, I made the most important decision of my life: quitting my job in Hong Kong and moving to Germany. As a person who went through all these fears of moving abroad, I would like to give you some advice to make your move easier.
Money was the top fear in my mind. As a student in Germany, I did not have any income. It was really scary to read my bank statement which showed only expenses and my bank balance was going down every day.
Advice: Before your move, make sure you do extensive research and understand the cost of living in your new city. Plan enough money for your move based on your research. Don’t forget to include at least 10% on top for any unexpected expenses.
If you move abroad for your studies, keep an eye on any available scholarship. Besides, living in a shared flat or having a part-time job at your university can also reduce your financial pressure.
Moving to a country where you don’t speak the language is really tough. When I first moved to Germany, I couldn’t speak German. It was very challenging to meet new friends, deal with paperwork, or even do my groceries.
Advice: Learn the language before your move if possible. At least some basics would help. Once you are in the new country, go out of your comfort zone and expose yourself to the language by joining events with the locals. Don’t be shy to use the language. Most local people would appreciate it if you try to speak their language even when you don’t speak perfectly. The best way to learn a language is to use it as much as you can.
You may not know anyone in your new country at the beginning. It is normal to feel lonely sometimes. When I first moved to Germany, it was hard for me to have a true connection with anybody.
Advice: Try to connect with other expats in your area. Expats tend to face the same challenges and you may feel more connected with them. Open yourself up and join different events. Develop a hobby at your new place like going to a gym, biking, traveling, etc. This helps you to explore your new environment and meet interesting people along the way.
Moving abroad may involve giving up what you have in your home country. But what if you have to move back home afterward because things don’t work out as planned? Does it mean that this is a failure and you have made a bad decision?
Advice: If you have never tried, you will never know what the best is for you. Your experience abroad will never be wasted. This experience can help you to grow and see life from a different perspective. You can still be successful after moving back home, or you may even move abroad again at another time. Relax and enjoy your life abroad!
If you want to know more about the writer and her blog:
My Life in Germany was established by Sindy in early 2019, with the aim of providing info to expats about studying, working and living in Germany. Sindy is a Chinese expat living in Germany. Originally from Hong Kong, she went through all the hardship including learning German, dealing with German bureaucracy, and looking for accommodation as well as a job in Germany. Her vision is to provide useful info and advice through My Life in Germany to anyone following her footsteps.