Bharat Bhise – How to Adapt in a New Country 

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My friend Bharat Bhise moved over to the UK to study in Bristol which is where I met him, he actually arrived a year before we went to university so that he could acclimatize to the country, which was very different from his native India. It was exactly for this reason that I called Bharat shortly after moving to Mexico a couple of years ago, because the first few weeks I was really freaking out about living somewhere new and I felt really lost. Bharat gave me some wonderful advice and he reassured me that this was perfectly normal, and that it gets easier. I took his advice and now this is my new home where I feel very comfortable. If you move to a new place, here are some tips on adapting.

Riding the Wave

Almost everyone who I have spoken to about living somewhere new has gone through the panic stage in the first couple of weeks. If you start to feel this then don’t worry, it will pass, you just need to ride the wave. Something which Bharat said which made a lot of sense was that this freak out stage is actually you beginning to adapt to life in another country, your brain is started to freak out because it needs to get more accustomed to where you are. 

Amenities

You need to think about the things which you did at home and try to replicate them in your new country, at least until you feel a little more settled. For example find the supermarket where you are going to get your food and household items, find where the banks are, the doctor’s, the post office, the gym, whatever it is that you used to do back at home, find where those things are and slip into your old routine a little. You can, of course, change this when you feel more relaxed, but for now, it will help you to adapt better. 

Meeting People

You need a network of people around you as soon as possible, even if they are just acquaintances, it is nice to have people who you can go for a coffee with or meet up for a gym session, or simply to have a chat. Seek out fellow ex-pats, use the internet to find meet-ups between like-minded people or just have a chat with someone who you meet in a cafe or a bar. The more people you have around you the more it will feel like your home, rather than a weird place which you are living in. One of the best bits of advice which Bharat gave me was to just say yes to everything, this is a great way of meeting people and making friends with either them or someone that they then connect you to. 

Try to normalize your new life and continue the habits which you had back home in order to make yourself feel comfortable.

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