images 5

Difficulties of moving abroad: psychological problems of emigrants

When we think about moving abroad, everyday difficulties immediately come to mind. How to find an apartment and a job? How much money do you need for the first time? What documents do you need to collect? How do I get health insurance? And so on.

But it is equally important to think about the psychological difficulties that await emigrants. It’s absolutely normal to experience them. You just need to be prepared.


Changing your social circle is the first thing you notice after moving. It takes time to find friends and acquaintances in a new place, and energy to keep old connections. It is difficult to maintain long-distance relationships. Even the closest friends can become distant or stop communicating altogether. Against the background of the stress of moving, this is perceived as especially painful. You feel socially isolated and abandoned.

What to do?

Look for interesting communities in your new city. Sports clubs, hobby clubs, student associations are great places to meet new people. If you have moved out to study, get the help of a buddy. Many universities have a culture of helping international students. We wrote in more detail in the article “Tutor, mentor and buddy – who helps foreign students study abroad”

If you do not want to lose touch with loved ones, make yourself a communication plan. Try to communicate not only online – exchange paper cards or small gifts in the mail. This will definitely bring positive emotions. We wrote about this in more detail in the article “How to deal with homesickness while abroad”

Chronic fatigue

In the early stages of adaptation, the brain processes a huge amount of information. You re-learn everyday activities: how to use transport, how to open a bank account, when and how to take out the trash (read about recycling and colored containers).

You need to plan your time differently and decide when to do household chores, if supermarkets are closed on Sundays, and you cannot vacuum at home, otherwise there is a chance to run into a complaint from neighbors. A trip to the store turns into a stressful situation because of sometimes incomprehensible names of products and unusual choices.

A separate burden is communication in a foreign language. I well remember the derogatory glances of the saleswomen in Berlin supermarkets when I did not understand commonplace questions. It would not be an exaggeration to say that at the beginning of emigration, every day is a small struggle. And living in a state of constant stress is exhausting.

Hire Work & Travel Students - CICD

What to do?

Taking care of yourself, physical activity (yoga and running are especially beneficial), good sleep and regular rest are your faithful helpers. Love yourself, stay in a good mood, and don’t worry when something goes wrong. You didn’t learn to walk right away either!

Period of crisis

According to the universal theory of adaptation, proposed by the anthropologist Kalervo Oberg in the middle of the 20th century, every emigrant goes through a crisis. Moreover, it can be so severe that it leads to clinical depression, says the author of the Skillful Emigration project.

This is the most difficult period after the move, when everything is seen in a black light. The emigrant is constantly haunted by negative thoughts: “ This country does not accept me, I feel bad here, nobody needs me, I want to go home ” and the like. In such a state, it is difficult to assess reality objectively and see bright spots.

What to do?

Share your experiences! If you feel very bad, seek help: support groups, psychologists, psychotherapists. This avoids a more serious condition, such as clinical depression, which can last for years. Be gentle with yourself and your mental health.

Anxiety and fear

When you are still new to a country, its laws and orders, any encounter with bureaucracy is frightening. Like chronic fatigue, anxiety depletes resources and leaves you feeling exhausted.

What to do?

Don’t skimp on your peace of mind and confidence in the future. If you have reliable legal and bureaucratic consultants, do so.

Do not ask for advice on forums and online communities, it is easy to get false information and get even more confused. We have already written about working abroad and the benefits of legal insurance. We advise you to read it.

Identity Crisis

Another crisis that emigrants go through, but a little later, is an identity crisis. Living in another country leads to profound personality changes. You discover that you are no longer the person who left his country. It scares. It seems that your identity is lost, you have lost yourself.