Already have an account?

New here?

Sign Up


Life after graduation (II) – Tips for your next adventure abroad

Jun 18, 2021 by Monica Garcia

If you are already transitioning between your post-graduation life and your life abroad, you know what an international work experience will mean for your career and personal goals. However, it's common to feel overwhelmed: you don't know what to expect or how to get the most out of the experience. With some insider knowledge, determination and the following tips, you will be more than ready to have the time of your life. And remember: you have already done the most important step! 

Don’t worry too much about what you are leaving behind

After graduation, everyone is moving in new directions, and it might be more challenging to maintain bonds with your friends if you move to another country. You are probably experiencing a mix of feelings, as you want to start your new adventure abroad but, at the same time, you don't want to miss out on celebrations or other happenings back home. It's essential to keep in mind that good friends will always be there, no matter how much time passes, and that you are about to meet new people that will be part of this new life. In the future, you will even think about how you got on without them! On another note, if you ever feel homesick, think about how lucky we are nowadays to have our families just one message or a 3-4hour-flight away (if you are not moving to an isolated island!) 

Develop your routine abroad

At the beginning of your adventure, you might need a flexible mindset, as you will have many things to fix and think about. Indeed, you will have to give yourself some time to settle into your new daily life. But once you are done with all these duties, setting a comfortable routine will be an excellent way to feel productive and have something to look forward to, especially when you haven't built your social network yet. For example, plan to clean your apartment during the weekends, make a list of the places you want to visit in your new city, go to the gym after work, or it’s probably the perfect time to find a new hobby! This way, you will feel safe when other aspects might still feel unfamiliar. 

Learn the language as much as possible

If you are moving to a non-English speaking country, it’s easy to fall into groups of expats. There you can speak English or even your native language and meet many people in the same situation. However, you can also do this by signing up for language lessons and learn, at the same time, the local language! Mastering a language can take years of practice but learning basic phrases will already make a difference. If you know what to say in a grocery store or at your doctor’s appointment, you will feel less isolated and more connected to others. Plus, the locals will really appreciate that a newcomer integrates herself/himself into their society and gets interested in their culture. 

man walking on an old railway

Explore the culture...and the food!

Quite everyone knows it: you step off the plane, enter the airport in a completely new country and the first thing you see is the well-known restaurant chains that can be found all over the world. But if you move abroad, you should not be drawn to it, because the food of a country is usually a large part of its culture and tradition. Getting to know a country also includes getting a good insight into their culture of eating. In addition, you can even try to cook certain dishes in the traditional way at home!

Control your finances & plan ahead

If managing money is already a bit tricky when travelling long term, moving abroad can be a financial challenge, especially if you haven't had the opportunity to work and study simultaneously. Creating a budget for the first month is the key to avoid being stressed out. For example, make a list of the essential items you will have to spend money on (transportation, groceries, etc.) and think of what can help you save money. A furnished apartment or room might be the best option, and you can plan to get a gym membership once you get your first salary. We recommend doing an overhaul in your inbox and bank account to discover hidden subscriptions you have forgotten that won't be valid in your new country. 

In general, plan as many details as possible before leaving your home country for a smooth transition. Thinking about elements such as transportation, health insurance, registration requirements or bank account set-up will make you feel more prepared and get things under control. 

Network with your colleagues and locate people with similar interests

As said, your first weeks in your new destination will be pretty hectic, and it will be completely normal to look forward to those moments where you can just relax at home. However, being social is crucial if you want to create and expand your social network. Whether you are an introvert or extrovert, you don’t want to be that person at work that always turns down after-work activities. Even if you feel tired and with no energy, pushing yourself and going out with your workmates or attending events of your interest is an excellent opportunity to really get to meet people and opens the door to endless new experiences! It will eventually get easier over time, and you will always have a blast!  

Stay positive. Take care of yourself!

Last but not least, give yourself time to adapt to the new environment. In those moments when you feel angry, frustrated, undecided, or anxious, remember that it is completely ok to go through an emotional rollercoaster.  Every second of your time abroad is a significant opportunity to get to know yourself and gain new life perspectives. Moreover, keeping a positive outlook can help make all the challenges a bit easier, and you might become more creative finding solutions to everyday problems!

Enjoy the learning that this brings you, keep exploring and be sure that all the good and bad stories will become, in the end, mere anecdotes to tell for the rest of your life!