3 Common Challenges Faced by Newcomers
Moving to a new city in a new country can be a thrilling, exciting experience. As someone who has done this several times over these past years, I know what I am talking about!
There is nothing quite like the rush from exploring new places and settling into a new neighbourhood with many things to discover. However, being a newcomer is not always easy, especially if you come from a different country and there is a bit of a learning curve. Whether you’re a student or a digital nomad living abroad, the struggle is real!
A Place to Live
First of all, searching for a good living arrangement could be pretty challenging whether you want to rent an apartment or sublet a room.
As someone new in town, you might struggle with knowing where to look. What are the best areas in line with your budgets and needs? What platform should you use to check out ads?
In addition, landlords might often be a bit more suspicious of a foreign applicant and usually require an added level of assurance, such as having a guarantor or paying a more significant deposit fee upfront.
A Social Life
Secondly, finding new friends can be a bit daunting, especially if you’re on your own and don’t know anyone in town.
However, this can be an excellent opportunity to expand your social sphere and try new things. If you are a student, meeting people can be a bit easier due to classes and other initiatives, such as clubs, extra-curricular workshops, and student meet-ups, for instance. If you have a particular hobby, such as music, try connecting with like-minded individuals via social networks. For example, you could find musicians to jam with from social media if that’s your thing!
In addition to that, you should also be able to simply dive deeper into the city’s fabric spontaneously: go to bars, sit at a coffee shop for some time while working on your laptop, or read a book.
Some of the best encounters can happen organically if you simply make an effort to get out of your place and experience the city! The possibilities are endless. If you feel nostalgic or find it helpful to connect with people who share your background, it can be a good idea to look into communities of expats from your country. This can be a fantastic opportunity to get to know someone new, but be careful: you don’t want to get stuck in a comfort zone bubble where you only deal with people from your home country, or you might miss out on a more diverse experience in your new city!
Give Yourself Some Time to Settle In
Finally, one of the first reactions to moving to a new city could be: “Oh my, what have I done?” or something to that effect. The first few months in a new place could be the most stressful. After all, you’ll need to worry about so many things, such as finding a new place, working out visa arrangements and other bureaucratic matters, as well as getting started with either your new job or student life (or both!)
With all of these things on your plate, it’s only natural to feel a little bit overwhelmed. If you are feeling this way, don’t stress! Give yourself some time to settle in and enjoy your new surroundings after you’re worked out all the “to-dos.”
In my experience, it’s essential to give it a year before you decide whether the new town is a good fit or not! Before the one-year mark, everything is usually still in a transitional phase, and it’s not enough to get a very good outlook as an insider in a new place.