Leaving your home country and moving overseas by yourself to work can be pretty daunting. As someone who was an international student and is now living, loving, and working far from the place I grew up in, I know exactly how that feels. The thought of not having a support system, the fear of being lonely, and the self-doubt that might creep up on you can be overwhelming or even keep you up at night! However, from my experience, there are steps you can take to put your heart at ease and make the move a lot smoother and heaps more fun!
Tip 1: Get connected before you leave
I found it really helpful getting connected to people who were moving to the same city as me or were already living in the city I’m moving to before I left. When I received my acceptance letter to a university here in Melbourne, I started sussing out if there were any events for people who were making the move to Victoria. I even asked my circle of friends to find out if they knew anyone who was going to Melbourne or are already in Melbourne! I then found out that a girl who attended the same church as me was also moving over to study in the same university and we ended up being housemates. I also realized that a high school senior of mine had been living in Victoria for years and was able to reach out to him to get some tips regarding living in Melbourne before moving over. Having these relationships built before making the move made my transition smoother. So my advice is to be more proactive and start asking around to see if you have any existing connections in the cities you’re moving to. Or even better yet, start going to events to meet new people who might be making the same move as you and begin building new friendships so that you won’t feel entirely alone in this! anzuk organises great info sessions and pre-departure events regularly so you can always come along to start building your network and connections before you leave.
Tip 2: Keep in contact
With the technology these days, it’s easy to stay in contact with your loved ones who might be halfway around the globe. I found it helpful to schedule regular calls back home to my family and friends because it’s a reminder that I do have people who love me and support me back home and I can get regular updates so that I don’t feel left out. Remember that even though you might have made the move to work in a different city or continent, you still do have relationships and a support system back home that you can stay connected to if you want. So make those calls and keep connected!
Tip 3: Go explore
Once you’ve made the move, I would say it’s important to make good use of the time and start exploring. Do some research, make a list of places that interest you, and go! See if there are any events or meet-ups happening around your area and attend them if it appeals to you. The key here is to step out of your comfort zone, and be willing to meet new people on your travels. You might build some really good friendships or even meet your future partner this way (I did!). You’ll never know! *wink wink*
As daunting as it may appear to be, trust me as I speak from experience that making the move is really not as scary as it seems, especially if you’re able to apply some of the tips above. More importantly, it will definitely be a memorable experience that you will look back on fondly in the future. So go forth my friends and as Tony Robbins puts it – the only impossible journey is the one you never begin!