How to deal with being a foreigner?

A lady in a foreign country does not know where to go.

Due to our search for opportunities, studying abroad, being a refugee or asylum seeker because of political instability and persecutions or simply just intermarriage etc. one may find him or herself in a foreign geographical location."

The first major challenge you may be facing is the language barrier. Also understanding the new set of social values and customs that are ingrained into the social fabric may be proving a hard nut to crack.

Moreover, you may be facing some form of discrimination and prejudice. How can you be better adapted to meet those challenges? Here are some tips:

1. Accept and learn the new language.


Surely you may be feeling homesick now that your home is kilometers away; the only remedy to cure it is to feel at home in your new environment.This will require much effort on your part to learn the new language of your host country so as to remove the communication barrier.

The learning process will really test your humility and patience, but do not give up. Remember, the faster you master the language, the faster you will assimilate into the new culture and social order.

With perseverance and persistence, trial and errors, you will finally be able to overcome this problem.

2. Ask your questions about your new culture.


Instead of learning the hard way about what do or not do in these in new surroundings, ask questions if unsure of what is expected to be done.

For example, a student from a remote village was invited to attend some studies in a learning institution. During meal time he saw the other students put some red stuff (tomato sauce) which he had never seen before in his life.

He was curious, but hesitated to ask since he did not want to be considered a novice.

Since there seemed to be many bottles of them on table he decided to pick one and poured a considerable amount on his food.

After a few spoonfuls he noticed that he was the only one shedding crocodile tears- oh! he had mistakenly added chili sauce instead.

Indeed this caused much laughter amongst the students, if only he had asked, this embarrassment could have been gladly avoided.

3. Avoid confrontation with the local community


Being different(having different physical attributes which some may find amusing) will make you easily a subject to many comments and stares by the local people as you interact with them every day, some may even make witty remarks about you or your foreign background.

Resist the temptation to retaliating as this will only reinforce the fears that you are threat to their cohesion, thus making your integration even more difficult.

If you constantly display temperance and act in friendly manner, in time they will eventually drop any misgivings they have about you.

4. Be diligent and honest in any work availed to you


If you work diligently and honestly, you will prove your worth as a foreigner and your hosts will find it much easier to accept you and even befriend you.

Once you gain a good reputation, finding work will be much easier as your host will do their best to retain you as their trusted work, even if it means helping you with the legalization processes.

This will be a great help to you as you seek financial independence and security.

5. Do not isolate yourself


You may have the opportunity to be hosted by some friends, relatives or find neighbors whom you share the same nationality. It can be easy to weave yourself only around this circle of friends as a coping mechanism to this new surroundings.

Indeed initially this can be advantageous to you, as they will offer you the much needed advice to get along, but as time progresses, it would be more prudent to widen out.

This will unlock the door to help you access friends from diverse backgrounds and enrich your knowledge on how to get along with people from different cultures.

Networking with those who are willing to give you a chance to get to know them better, will give you a more successful integration and experience.

6. Cooperate with the authorities


In every country, state and local jurisdiction there are rules and regulations that govern the registration, employment and dealings of illegal immigrants as well as foreigners.

It would be wise to find ways to make one's presence legal, so as to enjoy the protection of the law.

The more ambiguous your legal status is, the more you will be vulnerable to exploits by the local inhabitants as a form of cheap labor, sex slavery and other forms of discrimination's.

Therefore instead of being elusive, cooperate with the authorities by following the right channels of engagement, in order to be able to seek redress to any grievances you may have regarding your new environment.

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