Submitted by James Evan Redden
International travel can be a scary prospect. Packing up, loading everything you own onto some boat or plane, and settling somewhere where you most likely do not know the culture or traditions. There are many ways to prepare for this, however, many which can ease the transfer and make your time spent in your new home all the more enjoyable. Among others, some methods of coping with this transition are learning the culture, researching the history of the land you plan to move into, and of course learning the language if an unknown language is present. These methods are what will get you through the differences between you and your new neighbors.
We will start with the first method, learning the culture of the people you plan to live with. Learning an areas culture is much more than reading some pamphlets or talking to one person from the area about their likes or dislikes. To learn a culture, you must review the areas history, what it has been through, and what the people are like. This can be achieved by researching on the internet or by getting books in your local library. One example would be if you moved to France, you would look into the history embedded there, the architecture would be one interest to look into. Another interest in France would be the art or the fact that people there live close together in cities and such. Details like these would be a good starting point into researching an areas culture. More attributes to look into would be common living conditions, jobs that are the most prevalent, and political tendencies of the people. Looking up jobs can help you relate to others and get you an income opportunity in the process. The political influence will give you know how on what the economy and other advantages when considering neighbors (knowing what those around you are constantly talking about will be a convenience). Lastly knowing the more common living conditions will let you know what you will most likely be living with. All of these can help you in your move internationally.
Next, the history of the land is as important as its culture, usually giving much to the culture itself. Looking into the history of an area can give you insight to what the people have been through, and why they may react to different things they way they do. And history is relative, recent will most likely be your main focus, but older history can also help you in your move. Knowing things like recent natural disasters or elections can help you understand and relate to the people who you will be living within your new community. Older history, however, can also be beneficial. Learning what has occurred, invasions, conquering other nations, or religious affiliation. Any religious affiliation can be good or bad depending on what you believe in or how strongly you hold your religious convictions. Knowing this history could determine on how you carry yourself in public. If the nation has been known as an invader or has been known to be conquered constantly this could also help you know how to defend yourself in one way or another. More recent history that could aid you in your move is who is currently in charge, if there are any shortages of anything, or if there have been any disasters of lately. Knowing who is in charge can let you know how living will be in the area you plan to move to and giving you insight on how the people view good leadership as well. If there is a shortage of anything you can plan ahead and bring supplies with you to help you and others, although you should see what the shortage is before doing this. Lastly, any disasters can be vital to know because it can tell you what it will be like living there, or if you may get postponed in moving there. it is also good to know the history of disasters, so you may prepare if disasters are commonplace in the area.
Finally, possibly the most important factor to moving to a new area internationally, language. Knowing the language is needed when moving to a new area internationally. Going back to the first example, if you were to move to France, you should most likely attempt to learn French. Learning this would open up many other opportunities considering you would be able to communicate with those around you much easier. Knowing the language will allow you to carry a casual conversation with those around you, understand what comes over the radio or television, or even just get you other social opportunities. Casual conversation will happen every day, very frequently if you have a job or are very social as well. In addition to this understanding what comes on over different mediums of entertainment can benefit you greatly. Understanding what they say on the news can inform you of accidents or anything else that may affect your day overall, this foreknowledge is very useful in day to day life. Lastly being able to speak the local language easily during social events can lead to new job opportunities, friendships to be made, and many other positive things will be available.
Overall, the main lesson to take from all of this is prepared. In international transition, you need to be as ready as you can when you move. All these factors can make the transition all the easier, but only you can implement them with this new-found knowledge you are the only one who can effectively do the research for yourself, the history, culture, and language all add up to your new home. Make sure you know all you possibly can when considering moving. If you are unsure about the area in any way, be wary of moving, always make completely sure that you are prepared in as many ways possible. Here is hoping that your international journey goes smoothly, and that you have learned all you need to, to live comfortably in your new home.
Submitted by James Evan Redden
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