Coping Tips for Teens When Moving to Another Country

Tourists with guide and map in alleys of Italy
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A reader whose family is moving overseas. She was concerned with the adjustment and how to cope with leaving everyone she knows and loves so far behind. She also said that there are very few online resources to help teens move to another country. So we've come up with our own guide to help you move. This is good for parents to read, too.

Moving overseas has its own issues and requires some different coping strategies. It's going to be harder to visit friends, plus you may be moving to a country whose residents don't speak the same language and whose culture you don't share and it may be a lot hard to adjust and meet new friends.

Nevertheless, there are ways you can get ready for these changes before you leave so you'll feel a little more excited about your move.

Buy a Phrasebook

Travel stores, bookstores and your local library will have phrasebooks that you can purchase or borrow. Find out how to say common phrases and to get a start on how the language looks and pronunciation tips. Often, phrasebooks will also talk about the culture and what to expect when you arrive. You can also check out online language tools and courses, such as DuoLingo.

Sign up for a Language Course

Most community centers have courses that you can take after school. It's a great way to learn some basics before you move and to meet new people with similar interests. You can also sign up for classes after you move, too, or check your new school to see if they offer any language courses. It's a great way to meet local friends and people who are in the same situation as you are -- living in a country where they don't speak the language.

Research the Country

Go online and check out some travel sites about the country you're moving to. Try to think like a tourist. Make a list of the things you'd like to see and do. Maybe you're into museums or galleries or you want to know where the libraries are or the closest skate park. Doing some research will help you map out where things are and what you can do on the weekends.

While you can find everything you need to know about a country online, buying a travel guidebook is a great way to learn more about the country you're moving to and things to explore before you leave home. It's also a great way to find out about the city you're moving to and where to find things you like to do. No matter where you move to, practice being a tourist in your own backyard.

Try Some Local Food

Whenever moving to another country, always try to find some local food in your home country first. Most large cities offer great ethnic cuisine no matter which country you're moving to. Search online for a local restaurant then take your family and friends out for a night to check out the new food.

Find a Way to Stay in Touch

There's always social media, but blogs are also a great way to stay in touch with family and friends back home. Plus, by writing about your new experience you may just discover the great opportunities available in your new host country. You can even start the blog before you move to have an outlet for how you're feeling and to keep everyone up to date on your latest news.

Join an Online Expat Forum

There are some expat forums for teens where you can share your experiences and ask questions of other teens who've moved and settled into a new country. Once you move, you can also seek out clubs and social events where you can meet other foreigners.