Now I know I haven’t moved abroad for work or anything, so I do feel slightly cheeky writing a post on things you should know before moving abroad.
But. And there is always a but!
I still believe my points are worth considering from my experience as a study exchange student. Plus, I do plan to move abroad again, one day. And I think it’s always wise to have some tools before you consider moving abroad.
As you’ve heard me say a million times before ‘moving abroad was
one of the best decisions I’ve ever made’. I feel like it was a period of my life that I learnt so much about myself. It’s when I felt like I became whole and really believed I was capable of doing absolutely anything.
7 Things to think about before moving abroad
THERE WILL BE A LOT OF SELF DOUBT
Unfortunately, this is inevitable. When I moved abroad, I always doubted myself, mainly as a young black female. And (at the time) had never even lived out of her family’s home before. I was first worried about how I would be taken in Singapore. Everything I did caused doubt.
Honestly, moving abroad was and is one of the most humbling experiences. I was forced to come out of my shell overnight with very little support (that’s my opinion – which I am happy to discuss at a later date).
But moving abroad is an experience to meet people and live after a while the self-doubt will literally disappear.
MAKING FRIENDS MAY BE DIFFICULT
I personally didn’t have a massive issue with this because as you can imagine, everyone wanted to be my friend haha! I’m joking moving abroad can be quite daunting when you don’t know anyone on the other side.
As an adult or young person, should I say, making friends can be somewhat much more tricky, and if you are an introvert even harder – in my opinion? There can also be lots of misunderstandings, you know people learning about themselves. I had this trouble while living in Singapore, and it caused a bit of friction between a few friends and me.
Tip: I would suggest starting with an interest, I was surprised how music was an icebreaker for me when making friends in Singapore. I seemed to find similar interest with people that loved Beyonce! If you can, I would also suggest using Instagram and Facebook.
N.B don’t be afraid to ghost someone; people appear their best selves when you first meet them. If you don’t think you click with someone, do not hesitate to keep it moving!
YOU’LL GET FRUSTRATED LIKE ALL THE TIME
Anyone who tells you that moving abroad is easy is just lying! Moving abroad can be quite overwhelming, and if you lose your cool – it’s understandable. If you are moving over as a student, this can be reasonably straight forward, but if you’re doing this on your own – it can be quite frustrating!
It doesn’t stop there you then have to think about getting a new sim-card (if you already have a phone) then signing up to a new bank, the money you need to spend. Not to mention time difference. This can really test you – honestly, there were times I’m sure people thought I was just a spoilt brat! Things didn’t seem to go my way when I moved to Singapore, and I just wanted to come home!
However, despite the little hiccups, I learnt so many things. I reminded myself that it was all a learning process. As cheesy as it sounds, you really have to take a step back and just breath! All these annoying things definitely made me a more patient person.
YOU WILL BE SPENDING MONEY LIKE YOU’RE BARCLAYS BANK
Let me be real with you. Unless you have some fantastic benefits, you will be spending a lot of money. The first thing I did when I landed in Singapore was head out to IKEA. I wanted to feel like I was at home, and I couldn’t do that with no bedsheets.
Get ready to save some money before you go and then spend it once you get there.
YOUR STEREOTYPES WILL BE CHALLENGED
THIS IS SOMETHING PEOPLE LIKE TO IGNORE. PLEASE DON’T!
Sometimes as human beings, we have preconceived notions of how people behave or how they will perceive us. You can even have presumptions of how a place might be and more. Moving abroad wholly change everything for me. Not only did I learn so much about the culture in Singapore, but I was continually learning about other cultures and countries. I met people from America, Malaysia, South Korea, Sweden, Denmark, New Zealand, Canada and more. At first, I can honestly say it was a huge learning curve, but an enjoyable one where I felt like I gained so much from people.
IT’LL BE THE BEST DECISION YOU’VE EVER MADE
As I will always say and continue to preach! Moving abroad has and will always be the best decision I ever made. The decision to get out of my shell and see the world really changed me for the better and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
If you’ve ever had a thought that moving abroad is something you want to do, I’ve got one piece of advice for you – DO IT! If you are in uni/college, please consider.
What about you have you ever thought about moving abroad? What’s holding you back?
- The Perfect Tools on How To Apply for a Study Exchange
- 7 Things I Wish I Did Differently for My Study Exchange Abroad
- 8 Things To Know Before Studying Abroad.