How much is relocation worth it? Which challenges are you going to face and how to prepare yourself for them?
Every one at least once in their lifetime considered moving abroad and finding opportunities in other countries. In fact, many considered move but stopped by fear of the unknown, or the difficulties they would face there: language barrier mainly, cultural shock…
Despite this frightening first overview of what relocation could mean for a lot of people, some are still taking the ‘risk’ and move abroad, leaving almost everything behind them to build something new.
Among these people taking the risk, of course they face difficulties and challenges that are, for some of them, hard to overcome, and it is at that moment that you can see if they succeeded to relocate or not.
I will try to show you in this short article what relocation could mean, and how to get properly ready for it, to avoid any inconvenience during the settlement. And, to do so, I will describe my own experience as an intern and student to show you that, if someone like me can do it, there is no reason for you to fail in discovering the world!
From France, to South Korea, to the Netherlands
Long story shorts, I need to go abroad if I want to graduate. The first culture shock I faced was when I had to travel from France to South Korea. This was more than an amazing experience I had there, and the relocation aspect was, as well, really important. Preparation was the key aspect, taking some time to think about what I would need and what I should take, reading the necessary articles to understand to which law I should obey and to which compulsory administrative task I needed to follow.
After 5 months in South Korea, I went back to France to start a gap year and do internship, and following a first 6 months internship in my hometown, I joined Digital Source. Again, an other relocation experience, this time as a full-time worker so I needed to gather new information regarding my status.
Overall, it went smoothly, with the help of my current company, and I enjoyed a perfect move from France to the Netherlands, and this taught me a lot.
The preparation step: a key aspect
You will never be enough prepared to move to another country. Keep this in mind, and you will avoid the big problems. For example, I thought that my move would be easy between France and the Netherlands, but it wasn’t that easy and I was quite surprised about all the procedures I had to adapt to. Never underestimate a move, or you will have surprises.
Depending on the institution that will receive you, feel free to ask for help or details: did someone already moved from your country to the one you are going to? How was it? Do they provide any financial or administrative help? Don’t be afraid to ask questions, people will be pleased to share their experience with you.
Try to plan as precisely as you can your basic expenses: many websites exist to compare different cities and their costs of living (e.g. https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/comparison.jsp), allowing you to see the main differences between your current city and where you want to move.
Obviously, you cannot be precise at 100% on your future expenses, especially when everything varies and depends on your status, but it is always good to be able to compare standards.
Make sure you have an accommodation for when you arrive. It is really hard to get something from abroad, even though sometimes you have no other choices.
In my opinion, the best option would be to arrive a week earlier the due date, so that it will be easier for you to find something and you will be able to see where you could live. But if you have no choice, search the best websites to find housing and accommodation, or even on Facebook, but be careful with the scams: they are heavily active, especially with the foreigner’s community.
The moment arrives… it is time!
After getting ready for the past few months, it is now. And nothing will prepare you for the possible culture shock you will face. On the European scale, odds are low for you to face a severe shock, but be careful if you are travelling to a place far from your country.
Homesickness is, as well, pretty common and normal to feel: talk to colleagues, mentors, friends… remember just that it is a matter of time until you get used to it and it is completely normal to feel homesick.
The benefits of relocation
It is a difficult challenge: it might sound easy from the description above, but it is not. Nothing will happen as planned, culture shock and homesickness could hit you harder that expected. But the benefits you get out of it are completely worth it.
Getting immersed in a totally new culture will reinforce your adaptability by forcing you to get used to an other culture and way to work. Whether you are relocating for working reasons or not, this represents the chance for you to get stronger and well organised in your overall life, meaning this would bring to you both professional/educational and personal benefits.
You will obviously have to practice a language, generally English but not necessarily. This is a good way to enlarge your skills panel and show how dedicated you are to develop yourself.
Overall, relocation seems frightening and dangerous. You leave your ‘cocoon’ and often question its worth.
Trust us, relocation is a big deal, but is clearly worth it and shows a clear value on your CV: you like to take risks. Consider every possibility you have, prepare yourself for it, and there will be nothing big to worry about. Finally, be careful when you will go back to your home country: you might feel bad for knowing everyplace and feel like a big fish in a small tank, while you were feeling the opposite in your foreign country, so prepare yourself as well for this counterpart!
So, are you ready for relocation? Because we are ready to help you for it!
We have multiple companies that are even ready to give you a hand for your relocation if you need it, check the offers below:
Article written by Pierre Buteau