5 Best Tips for First-Time Expats…From Expats

Moving abroad is both exciting and frightening. Why? Basically, you do not know what life awaits you in the foreign land. Everything is new – the environment, the people, and the culture. Deciding to live abroad is full of “what ifs”. But if you are really determined to start a brand new land in another land, then go! To help you with your new journey, read these ten best tips from expats to first-timers:

Take time to adapt

Learning everything in your new environment will not happen overnight. Give yourself ample time to learn about the new culture. According to some fellow expats, take at least three months to observe everything around you. Things may not go as you planned it will be. Be patient!

Be open to new experiences

Given that it is a new place, then except a bunch of new things. To adapt easily, you need to be open to new things, including the food, the practices, and the people.

Be selective of anything ‘new’

It is alright to experience new things. But always remember, it should not violate the law. It doesn’t mean that sex party is new to you then you should try it. Be selective about the things you will experience. Choose those you think will help you adapt easily to the new environment.

Make friends with locals

In moving to another country, some expats tend to look for their fellow nationals. It is good, but it will be better if you open your circle to local friends. Basically, they know their place more than you. So, they can help you look for a place to stay, look for a job, etc. They will help you adapt to their environment. Basically

Don’t pressure to learn their language

Learning the foreign language is important. It is your key to understanding. However, know that learning it is not that easy. On your first few days, learn the basic words that are important for your survival. As mentioned above, befriend some locals so you can learn how they speak.

There you go! We hope that these tips from you fellow expats can help you on your new journey.

Top 5 Things That You Should Not Do in Europe

European countries are among the popular choices of people who wish to live abroad. As a matter of fact, Germany and the Netherlands belong to the top five countries preferred by expats, according to HSBC’s 2017 annual Expat Explorer survey. If you are planning to move and live in Europe, consider knowing the top 5 things that you should not do in Europe:

Getting noisy on a Sunday

Some European countries are just allergic to noise, especially on Sunday. In Germany and Switzerland, it is prohibited by the law to be noisy on a Sunday. For them, Sunday is strictly a rest day. No drilling, hammering, lawn mowing, sound-testing of your new stereo system, or partying. Beware – you can get caught for being noisy on a Sunday.

Taking pictures of official buildings

As smartphones become a widespread commodity, taking photos is just so convenient. On the other hand, some European countries do not allow taking photos of officials and official buildings. Hungary, Romania, Russia, Spain, and Ukraine have laws that prohibit photographing airports, government buildings, and military offices. In France, you are also not allowed to take photos if there are police officers in the background.

Feeding pigeons

Some European countries discourage people to feed the pigeons. Why? Pigeons’ wastes damage historic buildings and monuments. As a matter of fact, you can get fined if you feed pigeons in Venice and Vienna.

Walking in heels

Wearing high heels while touring the ancient ruins in Athens, Greece is strictly prohibited. Authorities may ask you to walk barefoot instead. High heels can potentially damage the weak surfaces of ancient ruins, especially in Parthenon and sanctuary at Delphi.

Forgetting your I.D.

Everywhere you go in Europe, it is important to bring your I.D. at all times. In Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain, and Ukraine, you can be fined if you forget your I.D. If you are a non-European resident, then you are obliged to present your original passport, not the photocopy.

Photo courtesy of https://www.teflcourse.net/tefl-infographics/etiquette_europe/

Before you go to Europe, remember to put these things in mind.