Moving abroad - The How to thrive and survive guide | Undutchables

Moving abroad - The How to thrive and survive guide

Congratulations, you’re about to embark on an adventure!

Setting up a new life abroad is a brave move. To help you on your journey, we’ve created a 3- step guide for so you can prepare yourself in the best possible way and make this a truly life enriching experience! The guide will help you find your way and avoid common mistakes in a new country.

Moving to a new country means facing many complexities and difficulties, such as learning a new language, finding new friends, adjusting to a new climate or time zone, and dealing with everyday issues like buying groceries, getting familiar with local bureaucracy and providing education if you have children.

Business success in our ever more globalised world requires the skills to navigate through cultural differences and decode foreign culture to your own. Even with English as a global language it’s easy to fall into cultural traps. Research shows the reason for expatriates returning before the completion of an assignment are cultural shock, lack of cultural training and inability to adjust in the host country.

Survival Guide


Culture is the way you think, act and interact.

Understanding of traditions, values and languages barriers are key factors that affects adjustment and culture shock in a new country.

Moving from your own culture to another, which is unfamiliar often causes culture shock. Our lifetime of learned experiences means that we will have difficulties understanding underlying values and social codes that the other culture constitutes. When our learned cultural behaviours and values are no longer appropriate in the other culture, feelings of distress, unhappiness, frustration and hostility towards the new environment can set in.

Understanding cultural differences like behaviour and mindset are essential when adapting in a new country and context and they are also crucial for making life abroad easier and more successful.



Cultivate your curiosity and seek to understand the local culture.

Be inquisitive about the new culture and its people: What is accepted and familiar, and what is not? What are typical cultural values? What should you avoid? What should you encourage? A cultural understanding of differences will give you a huge advantage in preventing misunderstandings and understanding social codes.

In order to understand other cultures you need to understand your own culture first. Build your cultural intelligence to notice and understand diverse perspectives. Cultural intelligence is having the ability to notice, understand and utilize culturally diverse perspectives. What is different from your own culture? Define what your cultural strengths are, what makes you successful?

Establishing a new professional and personal life abroad is a big change. Much of what you know and take for granted is challenged and culture shock come on like a wave in different phases. To have a support system set up to help your through the transition is imperative for your well-being.

Be proactive in reaching out and finding people that you trust and who can support you both privately and professionally. Reach out to a friend, a colleague, a mentor or a coach.

Wishing you the best of luck on your new adventures!

If you need some help along the way, we are here to support you and would love to hear from you.


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