A Practical Guide to Teaching English Abroad

Frank and Friendly Advice written by a Retired Teacher-Trainer, Experienced EFL Teacher
& Former Peace Corps Volunteer Living & Working Abroad since 1989

How long does it take
to adjust to life overseas?

Will I always feel a bit lost, or out of place?

This is really up to you. 

An old axiom says that  "A real person of the world - feels comfortable everywhere
- but really at home nowhere." 

I don't know if I would go that far, but adjustment is a real issue for many people.  Frankly, I feel most at home abroad these days. 

I don't feel at home back in Arizona, in the USA.  But that is me - not you.


Some people never adjust, some people fit right in immediately.  I'm more middle of the road and need to make a few friends, get to know the lay of the land, learn where to shop, learn the language basics, etc. before I start to feel comfortable.

Can this stage be a bit uncomfortable?

Of course!  But it doesn't usually take long.  A lot depends too - on how you view where you are living.  Do you look at it as a long-term home? A one-year visit?  A two-year party? 

After I had lived in Botswana, Korea, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, and Bangkok, Thailand (from 1989 to 2002), I was desperate for a place I could call home.  I wanted a cat, a house, a yard - all those familiar things from my "old" life.  Once I found my home here .  . .  I let out a big sigh - and knew this was home.

So . . .

Once you have wandered for a long time, you might find yourself seeking a place to put down some roots.   It will get rid of that edge of not belonging anywhere.



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