Change is always hard but perhaps nothing is a bigger challenge than moving to a new place, whether it be a new school or in my case a new country. Two months ago I moved from the coastal Scottish town of St Andrews, where I am currently studying German and history at university, to Nuremberg in Germany, beginning a year-long adventure as an English language assistant in two primary schools in the city centre.
In the weeks leading up to my departure I became more and more nervous as I realised the size of the challenge in front of me. Not only was I moving to somewhere new but that new place was about 800 miles away from home.
However, here are five things that I have found that have helped me settle in to my new home in Germany which you might find useful if you have to move homes or indeed countries.
- Bring a few home comforts with you, but leave enough room for new things. I only had one suitcase when I flew to Germany so I didn’t have much room to pack but I made sure my childhood teddy was in my bag.
- Put up photographs around your new home. Being surrounded by happy memories always creates such a positive atmosphere and, in my case, acts as a reminder that I have such a happy and strong group of friends to return home to.
- Create a routine. When I am in Scotland I love going to the gym and I try and go at the same time every day. So when I moved to Nuremberg naturally I looked for a gym to join so that I could try and continue some of the routine I had in place at home.
- Keep in touch with friends and family. I am lucky in that I am very close to my family and have a wonderful tight-knit friendship group. I try and Skype them fortnightly to catch up on what is happening in their lives and fill them in on all my exciting adventures.
- Make the most of every opportunity. I know I am only in Germany for one year so it is important for me to travel and explore my new home. I have visited so many other cities in Germany already and am always planning my next trip.
What are your tips for settling in to a new place?