Of course, your priority is to get housing, occupation and schooling sorted. But what happens next?
Look for clubs and expat organisations
Getting to know people with shared experiences can provide comfort, and it can also be a brilliant way to make new friends, whatever your age. Online forums such as The Bulletin can be a great place to see what events are coming up in your community.
If you have children, then why not encourage them to continue a hobby here in Belgium? This might be music lessons, gymnastics or performing arts, will help boost their confidence as they adjust to their new surroundings and give them chance to meet other children outside of the school environment.
Learn Dutch or French
True, you could ‘get by’ with just English, but it is important to make the effort to learn French or Dutch (or even both!) now you are living in Belgium. Even just by being able to say a few basic phrases will make you feel more comfortable when going about your daily business, and you won’t feel lost in translation. Why not look to take classes with your partner so you can practise at home? See what language schools we recommend here.
Remember those back home
Of course moving to Belgium offers up a whole new world of exciting possibility, a new culture, new things to do and new people to meet. But don’t forget about your friends and family back home. With the help of the internet, there is no excuse to lose contact; skype, Facebook, Instagram and emails are all brilliant ways of keeping your connections with your loved ones overseas.
Yes, it is nerve-wracking to find yourself away from home and trying to fit in to a different way of life, but see it as adventure that you and your family have the pleasure of sharing together! Belgium has so much to offer you (much more than delicious chocolate and great beer), but you have to be proactive and get involved with local groups, meeting new people and understand the charming foibles of your new country. It is a new journey of discovery, and you can’t get much more exciting than that.
(image © BarbieCPT0)
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