Adjusting to life abroad
Making plans to live abroad or moving to the UK from another country can be exciting at the outset, however it can often turn out to be a challenging experience.
When you become an expatriate you arrive into a new culture; there is often a new job with a new set of colleagues to get to know, and a new social life to nurture. Although you may have travelled extensively before, you may be far removed from what you know as home to be in a new country on a long-term basis.
Some feelings of nervousness and fear are normal and these feelings may be temporary and easy to handle. For some people though deeper feelings of fear, loneliness and isolation from family, friends and colleagues can set in and these feelings can become difficult to handle.
Unhappiness and a lack of confidence around the lifestyle change can cause different stresses and pressures – in self-esteem, confidence, diet – and – affect relationships with others.
Experience has also shown that lifestyle changes can be traumatic – with some expats not being able to work in the new country or others giving up work voluntarily – for the first time. In some instances having a more privileged lifestyle, which is culturally acceptable in the new country results in compulsive behaviours and specific disorders.
In conclusion, people start to rely on such things as food, alcohol and drugs as ‘props’ to get through life and often find it difficult to talk to the people around them. It is very important to locate a counsellor who understands the particular issues facing expats and the expat lifestyle.