Moving to a Foreign Country?

Follow these seven steps - one for each day - to make your first week abroad run as smoothly as possible

If you are thinking of living abroad for a while it can be one of the most amazing and rewarding experiences of your life. However, anyone that has been in that position will tell you that living in a foreign country for any period of time can be pretty scary. The most daunting moments you experience may be during your first week, so this is a guide to help you get through those all-important seven days.

Day 1: Relax and stay calm

Stepping off the plane and onto foreign land may trigger a waterfall of mixed emotions but the most important thing to remember is to stay calm and to relax. Yes, everything is going to seem new and frightening, but it is also exciting and the start of an amazing chapter in your life. If you feel yourself stressing out take a few deep breaths and remember that you are doing something a lot of people can only ever dream about. If you let that get you through the day you will be starting your trip in the best possible way.

Day 2: Buy essentials

When you move into your temporary accommodation the first thing you should do (after a nap, of course!) is figure out what you will need to buy in order to survive while you are living there. If you are living on your own you will probably find that you have to buy everything apart from the furniture yourself. If you are living in a shared property however, you may find that your flatmates will share a lot of their essentials and you will only have to buy bedding etc. Although it may seem like a tedious job, it is better to get it out of the way quickly!

Day 3: Talk to people and make friends

Living in a new country can make you feel incredibly lonely compared to what you are used to at home, this is why it is important to talk to people and make friends. One of the greatest things you will take away from your experience abroad is the friendships that you make, so be friendly and talk to everybody that you meet. If you are living with a group of people it is worth taking the time to get to know them, they will be your rocks throughout your stay.

Day 4: Start to explore 

When you temporarily move to a new country the time you have to explore is limited so the sooner you get started the better. Exploring in the first week will be even more exciting as everything is new and different, but planning what you want to do during your time in the country can be just as exciting. A good idea could be to create a bucket list full of your personal dreams and the recommendations your new friends have given you and get it ready to cross off everything as you go along.

Day 5: Work out a budget

Having spent your first few days in the country you will have an idea of how much things costs and roughly how much you will be spending on things such as food, travel and going out. It is a really good idea to set out a budget of how much you can afford to spend on each of these things each week so you don’t run out of money before the end of your time abroad. It will also show you roughly how much you will have left over for other trips or things you may have planned.

Day 6: Find your way around

It is really important to get used to your surroundings and find out what the area you are living in is like. The best way to do this is to set a day to take a slow walk around and explore the things closest to you. If you are lucky you will probably find that there are plenty of places to eat, shop and drink within a fifteen walk of your accommodation. The most important things you might want to look for are a supermarket, bus stops and a train station!

Day 7: Call home

As your first week will be a busy one, it may be easy to forget to make time to let your family and friends know how you are getting on and that you are safe. Although you may constantly be updating your Facebook and tagging yourself in awesome places, they will be thrilled to hear from you personally. Hearing how happy everyone is and proud they are of you will reassure you that you have made an amazing decision and although the first week was stressful, it was still one of the best of your life!