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Living in Bulgaria, from USA

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Living Abroad

For most expats, living abroad is more than just taking a step up the career ladder. This new and exciting experience may offer many possibilities but will also confront you with entirely new obstacles and issues. At InterNations you’ll learn all you need to know and more about living abroad.

Living abroad is an exciting experience for most expats. Just imagine the sound of the ocean or the smell of exotic flowers when you leave the house in the morning. But this is not to say that life abroad is easy. Trying to adjust to a foreign country and culture can throw off even an experienced expatriate. A checklist for your arrival and for settling in can help you to ease into your expat experience.

A Whole New Experience

The first days of your expat life can be particularly stressful. When you don’t know your way around the neighborhood yet you may be overwhelmed with this new experience. Once you have figured out where the nearest bank or post office is located and once you begin to pick up the local language, you will begin to feel at home while living abroad. Those who are living an international life already know that it takes time to adjust to a new environment and to settle all the details. For instance, in some countries you need to register with the local authorities to become a legal resident. At the same time, you may have to find a school for your children or a job for yourself if you have moved abroad on your own terms. On the other hand, living in a foreign country can cause quite a bit of culture shock. Different social customs and a different social etiquette often trigger feelings of alienation and frustration among expats living abroad. Don’t let these feelings get the better of you. Eventually, you will embrace all the little differences and begin to feel right at home.

Staying Healthy and Safe

Not every expat destination is as safe as your home country. Some countries are shaken by war or social unrest. If you want to keep safe while you are living abroad, you will have to take some precautions. The same applies to your personal health. Some foreign countries do not have the same health standards as what you are used to. During your stay abroad, English-speaking medical professionals may be hard to come by. That is why taking health precautions is doubly important for expats. That way you can make sure to enjoy a healthy expat life. Your personal health and safety plays an even bigger role, of course, if you are getting ready for a long-term or indefinite stay abroad. In this case, it is particularly important that you stay healthy and safe and get to know your new home. Learning the language and picking up on local customs is only a small part of the latter. If you have fallen in love with your host country and you want to stay there for good, you should try to make yourself at home while living abroad.

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