Cultural Adjustment Tips for New Immigrants

Moving into a foreign country involves a high expectation mixed with optimism and hope. On the other hand, trying to fit in with a different culture can be the hardest part of your life, especially when you have just moved to an unknown place. Even the basics like just communicating, meeting friends and coming across with the cultural stuff that is seemingly unsaid become incredibly complex tasks. Each transition stage can send us on the roller coaster of emotions – from clouds of joy and pride when you step into this new life, to homesickness, and despite everything, confusion, frustration and finding it hard to cope with the variety of changes. How then can immigrants smooth their way to the local culture while maintaining their tradition?


Cultural Adjustment Tips for First-Generation Immigrants: A Guide for Settling in New Culture


Learn the Language

Language barrier is one of the biggest problems immigrants face during the adaptation to the new life in other countries. If you have a minimal command of the host country language, full immersion is simply amazing and the most effective method of achieving proficiency fast. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes, which will become of no consequence as long as you keep practising the language with native speakers.

Think about attending learning sessions, speaking classes, watching films and TV shows, reading the news and periodicals in the language. People with kids usually find the languages learning very fast, so let your infant speak it as much as possible also.


Understand the Cultural Norms

Every society has its own informal rules on social etiquette as well as on personal space, topics for polite conversations, formality in dress codes, and so on. To begin with, do some groundwork in advance, but be on the lookout also how people around you conduct themselves when something unexpected happens. Keep yourself engaged by asking questions if you don’t understand something.

The most forgivable error for a newcomer is probably a small misunderstanding regarding the peculiarities of the culture, but growing through the knowledge of it demonstrates appreciation.


Build a Support Network

Finding a community is essential in your quest, to not only help you adjust to the new home, but also to offer you the emotional support you need. Try to link up with immigrants and their organisations/associations of their culture. If you have a school age kid or more, take a step towards their school management. Build up your hobby buddies or go to classes. Attend social events. Reach out to neighbors. However, making new friends takes a lot of time, so the presence of some people who can share your interests and be there for you is really important.


Embrace a Positive Mindset

Cultural adjustment, or for a layman a life transformation, is an extreme experience to a non-native student abroad accompanied by struggles all along. And don’t give up when the days are harsh. Pick up the reasons that made you immigrate in the first place and forget about those problems. Celebrate small wins. But don’t be too hard on yourself if it is taking time – culture shock is very real sometimes and there is nothing wrong in feeling homesick. Keep in mind a mentality of opening and positive approach and it will lead you through the journey.


Appreciate the Differences

Culture-wise, there can be instances when the differences may lead to feelings of frustration or strangeness. Nevertheless, being perceptive and open-minded allows you to go past this rupture in the process. Seek the beauty in the way people live and think differently than what you may be used to. Diversity is the beauty of the world! You don’t have to feel positive about the whole culture, but a spirit of goodwill will make it easier to adjust.


Preserve Your Cultural Identity

In the same way as you’re finding new elements in culture, it’s important to continue to regard your homeland’s traditions as well. Keep celebrating the country holidays, preparing the home food recipes, listening to music from home, and transmitting your values to the newer generation. It is important to blend into a new society without losing who you are.


Be Patient with Yourself

Although adapting to a new culture isn’t something you’ll just do in one day, there are ways to make this process less overwhelming. It’s nothing but to be expected to experience various feelings and go through different phases up and down as you proceed. Believe that push comes with pull, and in no time you will conquer the new environment because you now understand it. Lend yourself a bit of grace – it is, definitely, a great turn on your life.

Celebrate every milestone you reach out to, adjust your expectations to the circumstance walking by, appreciate that you’re growing in the way that you’ve never been before.


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