Today is a sad day at Ann's School of English. Today is one of my students' last day of English lessons before he moves to London in the beginning of October. He's been a great student and a nice student. I will surely miss him. It has been a real pleasure and honor to be his English Teacher.
He's not the first student of mine to fly the Italian nest for greener pastures abroad. In fact he's the third, all have flown north to the United Kingdom. One student is studying to be a chiropractor in Wales and another is living and studying graphics in London. I occasionally hear from my ex-student living in London, she's enjoying her new life there and has no plans on returning to Italy to live.
It takes guts to up and move to a foreign country. Especially if it is MANY miles/kilometers away. In my opinion, the longer a person lives in a foreign country, the more you learn, in addition to the obvious new culture and language. You see things in a different light, you start to think also in a different way, even about your native country.
If you are thinking of or have recently moved abroad, here are some suggestions:
- If you have visited a country and think "OH it would be SO awesome to live here", think again. Remember that visiting and living somewhere are two totally different things.
- Do NOT compare anything between your home country and your new country. You'll drive yourself crazy and only leads to homesickness and the-grass-is-always-greener-on-the-other-side syndrome.
- Be flexible. Things in your new country are done differently in respect to your native land. Get used to it. In the end you'll learn how to do things in a different way.
- Learn the language, NOW. You will become independent and also integrate.
- Immediately meet LOCAL people, not only fellow expats. Having locals as contacts can prove to be useful now and even down the road. Connections are ALWAYS a good thing.
- If you're having a bad day and you're really missing things back "home", start a list of things that you like and are grateful for in your new country. Try to do this on a daily basis. You'll start to see that things maybe aren't so bad after all in your new country.
- Enjoy your new country. Get out, see the sites, visit and participate in local festivals and events. This will help you integrate, meet new people and enjoy your new chosen home.