So you are leaving for the Western world! Congratulations. Not everyone gets to realize their dreams of earning in Dollars and living the NRI life. But are you ready to move? Are you really ready?

Your preparation for moving to a new country, a new continent and a new culture needs to be very good. To minimize the culture shock and difficulty in settling down, we suggested a few things that you MUST do before you leave. Here are a few more tips that will help you in settling down in your adopted country…

Learn the traffic rules: The traffic rules in the West are slightly different from those in our country. It will be great if you can learn to drive. If you already drive, you need to get your new license in your new country. To ensure safety on the roads, make sure you know the traffic rules, whether you drive or not!

Make friends: As soon as you land in your new homeland, you will find yourself completely isolated from your old life. You are in a new place, you know nobody and you plan to live there for the rest of your life. You definitely need to make a social group for yourself. Be polite and friendly with everyone. Social groups can be your best support in times of need, so do not isolate yourself.

Network: Being friendly with people can also be called networking. Make as many contacts as possible. Remember, you’ve got to recreate your world! These contacts will be helpful in many things like getting a job, finding housing, finding a cheap baby sitter etc!

Do not look for Indians: The worst mistake that most of the desis make is that they try to look for Indian faces in every crowd. Since you have decided to take up the new country, you cannot isolate yourself from the native people. Be equally friendly with the whites and also people of other ethnic groups.

Take care of your health: Sports and fitness industry in both these countries are in a much better shape than back home. So why shouldn’t you make the best use of the facilities you now have access to? Take care of your health and fitness. Exercising or taking up a sport will definitely help you in remaining cheerful and positive!

Volunteer: Whenever you have the time and opportunity, do volunteer work for your new society. This will win you many friends and will also open many opportunities for you. Plus the local experience will be an added advantage!

Develop a hobby: This is especially important if you are living alone. A hobby gives an outlet to your creativity and talent. It helps you in putting your spare time to a constructive use, at the same time it also relaxes you. If you try, you can also make money out of most hobbies!

Educate yourself: Education is not just for getting jobs. You need to learn about the laws in your adopted country. It is especially important to lean about the taxation laws. Since you will have to file your income tax returns, you need to know everything that you possibly can!

Leave behind the middle class mentality: If you have a problem with women wearing short skirts, try to change your attitude. After all, you cannot expect the women in your family to wear saris in the West! If you are a woman, you should also try to adopt the new culture instead of fighting it! Similarly, leave behind your attitude towards live in relationships, divorces, abortions etc. That is because your new culture and society is very permissive towards such things.

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