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Moving to a New Country: Pros, Cons, and Possible Challenges

The majority of people thought about moving to a new country at least once in their lifetime — it always seems that it may better somewhere there. Of course, the very possibility of emigration depends on personality and different circumstances. However, in any case, moving to a different country always has its positive and negative sides, especially concerning quality of life, social adaptation, working prospects, and psychological preparedness.

In most cases, people decide to change their country of residing because of dissatisfaction with their current quality of life. It is logical that after emigration their quality of life should improve. Studies tend to confirm this idea: a research conducted on Romanian emigrants showed that their quality of life generally increased (Mocanu et al., 2020). However, there is also an issue of personal perception: while objectively quality of life may increase, the emigrant cannot feel it because of various reasons. That is why there is no correlation between migration and feeling of happiness even when the quality of life is increased (Bartram, 2014). Still, moving to another country usually has a range of objectively positive consequences, depending on the chosen destination. The new country may have better climate, improved healthcare system, easier access to education and working prospects, and lower level of corruption or delinquencies. Therefore, if the idea of migration is based on realistic expectations, quality of life usually increases.

Unlike general quality of life, its social aspect may be negatively affected by changing the country of residing. When people move to another country, they usually leave all their social connections at home, including parents, relatives, colleagues, and peers. It means that in one day such people lose all their communication circle with necessity to build new connections. While having emotional attachment to people who were left far away, emigrants are forced to discover new people, build new social connections afresh, and open themselves to new people. Moreover, they can face difficulties in socialization because of different mentalities and customs. For instance, people from Eastern Europe may seem reserved to Americans as they do not have common habits of small talks and communication with strangers, which is socially appropriate in the United States. That is why they may feel alienated when moving to the different country.

Working prospects of migrants depend on their educational background, knowledge of languages, and personal expectations. As usually people move to the different country because they want to improve their working prospects, they expect to get better job or higher salary on the new place. However, sometimes expectations do not correlate with reality: people from developing countries usually do not have the necessary level of knowledge and skills to stay competent on the job market. In addition, the majority of employers are interested to hire the citizens of their countries as they share same values and common beliefs. As a result, they quickly become disoriented by necessity to lower their expectations and desires and get any job instead a weak-paid one. Still, sometimes even getting a low-paid job is better prospect than staying in their homeland. The person might still work as a driver in the new country; however, they will be paid more, enjoying security and environment they live in generally. Hence, satisfaction with job prospects highly depends on one’s initial expectations and educational background: the more competent the person is, they more chances they have to set their life on the new place.

Each of the aspects mentioned before can vary as each person’s story is different; however, psychological preparedness plays a significant role in one’s ability to adapt to the new life. Some people easily adapt to changes, so they have less problems with emigration: they can quickly find new peers, look for a new job, and get used to social rules. Others, however, may stay too connected with their culture, which makes the process of their adaptation difficult. The best way to prepare for emigration is to define why the person want to change their place of living, identify the possible challenges, and decide whether this idea is worth trying. In addition, it would be beneficial to get as much information about the place of destination as possible. This information may include common habits, unspoken rules, climate peculiarities, typical food, paper issues among others. If possible, it would be great to talk to someone from that place: the person will be able to tell everything in details, including information that can be hardly met in touristic booklets. Even though such steps cannot change one’s ability to adapt to changes and something can surprise the person even so, it will be a useful way to make the process of getting used to the new place milder.

Moving to a new country is always a risky choice. However, for many people it is also a beginning of the new, better life. That is why if one decides to move, they should prepare and follow their dream. In any case, it is always possible to come back home and consider emigration a valuable life lesson.


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