Doing an international placement? Here’s my advice for settling in.

Guest BloggerGuest Blogger, International Placements, On Placement, Second Year

Moving to a new country can be very daunting. You have to balance meeting new people, adapting to new cultures and learning new languages. When I first arrived in Spain, the culture shock was the biggest issue I had to contend with! Everything from the pace of life to the way in which the university functioned was confusing and a little overwhelming. Nonetheless, after a period of time I learnt to relax into the slower paced life that Spain provided.

My biggest tip in adjusting is to make friends with at least one person from the country you are in – then you can be comforted knowing that you have someone to answer questions and someone who can guide you through any uncertainties about your new country.

My other piece of advice would be to take time to be an actual tourist – yes you are in a new country to study and work, but it’s important you explore your new home and become familiar with it so you know when local events are happening as well as being aware of good local restaurants, shops, bars and cafes. This is a great way to feel more at home, rather than just a stranger in a new city.

Whilst the homesickness, the culture shock and settling in may be overwhelming at first, make sure that you take the time to enjoy your surroundings as well as planning trips so that you are able to look forward to new things to do in the coming weeks.