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Making the Most of Your Time Off in a New Country

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 25 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
Country Time Opportunities People

Your time working abroad will be over before you know it, so even if you’re feeling incredibly homesick and can’t wait for it all to be over, it’s a good idea to make the most of this terrific opportunity or you’ll regret it forever.

Cultural Opportunities

Wherever you are in the world there will be some exciting cultural opportunities for you to enjoy. It may be just that your new home is near a massive shopping centre rather than being next to an UNESCO heritage site, but there will still be things to learn and see that you couldn’t do at home.

A great way to make sure you don’t miss out on anything is to visit your nearest tourist information centre. Of course you can find out pretty much everything you need to know on the internet, but the tourist information centre will also give you access to money off vouchers, local info such as open days or garage sales and will get you talking to real people!

Travel Ideas

When you’re living and working abroad it’s worth exploring your local area in your time off as you might never be so well positioned again. So if you’re in the south of France, for example, getting to Spain and Italy need only be a few hours on the train, or if you’re in Australia the potential for visiting some amazing islands is a must do.

Meet New People

It’s all too easy to just stick with the people you know, especially if you’re sent to an office overseas and there are colleagues that make your social life easier. But living and working overseas for a period of time can mean that you make new friends for life – if you’re prepared to put yourself out. Try joining a local language class or a club that interests you – you’ll be amazed how much of the language you pick up when you’re doing something interesting instead of just sitting in a classroom. You can also get talking to people in the library, at the train station or in coffee shops – just remember to be as careful of your personal safety as you would be at home in the UK.

Welcome Visitors

If your family and friends are keen to come and visit you in your new country, it’s a great way to learn more about where you live. Taking someone you love around your new city can really help to see it in a very positive light and the fact that you will be able to talk in your own language will add to the experience.

Embrace the Country

Try to embrace the country where you are now living rather than trying to recreate a bit of the UK. Get involved with local events as much as possible and enjoy the special days and ceremonies – there will probably be different ‘bank holidays’ and religious holidays, so take the time to learn about what they mean and the significance of different food, flowers or clothing to really make the most of your wonderful experience abroad.

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