Moving to a new country is a massive undertaking that can be as exciting as it is stressful. If you're planning on becoming an immigrant or have recently moved, it's essential to take a strategic approach to help you get settled successfully. Below are some tips inspired by Diego Sarmiento's podcast "País con Visa," specifically the episode titled "Cómo Empezar Siendo Migrante."
1. Own Your Process
First and foremost, your immigration journey is yours alone. While it's great to take advice from people who have been through it, every experience is unique. Therefore, you need to be open to finding your formula for success. Be prepared to experiment, make mistakes, and learn from them.
2. Start Modestly
While you may have big dreams for your new life, it's essential to start modestly. This is not the time for grandiose plans. Why? Because so many factors out of your control can affect your initial stages. Be modest in your financial expectations and keep your expenses lower than usual.
3. Be Practical About EarningIn the beginning, your main focus should be on generating some income, no matter how small. Doing so will help you avoid depleting your savings, which is crucial for long-term survival in your new home. Keep a tight grip on your expenses to give you the flexibility to adjust your plan if needed.
4. Learn the Cultural Codes
Understanding social and cultural norms can be crucial for your integration into the new environment. Not knowing these "unwritten rules" can put you at a disadvantage, professionally and personally. Invest time in observing your surroundings, asking questions, and learning from the people around you.
5. Consider Transport Costs
One of the significant expenses you'll encounter is the cost of moving. Whether you're traveling alone or with a family, you need to factor in the costs of transport for everyone and everything. Make sure these costs are within your budget, as going over can set you back financially.
6. Choose Your Living Space Wisely
Deciding where to live is often tricky, especially when you're not familiar with the area. Beyond the rent, consider the safety of the neighborhood, the cost of utilities, and the type of people you'll be living around. Research online, ask for recommendations, and, if possible, visit the area before making a decision.
7. Prepare for the Unexpected
Different countries have different healthcare systems, and it's essential to understand how it works in your new home. Whether it's a socialized system or privatized, know your responsibilities and rights.
8. Choose the Right Visa
No matter how meticulously you plan, things can go wrong. From delays in paperwork to unexpected expenses, you need to have a backup plan for the worst-case scenarios. Always ask yourself, "What will I do if things don't go as planned?"
9. Be Helpful
Once you’re somewhat established, remember the help you received and pay it forward. Assisting others doesn't always have to be financial; it can also be through sharing your wisdom, experience, or even by simply lending a listening ear.
Emigrating to a new country is a journey filled with challenges and opportunities. Being prepared and adaptable is key to navigating the complexities of starting anew. Armed with these practical tips, you'll be better equipped to make your immigrant journey a successful one.