This is his expat story.
Tell us about your expat move?
I’m originally from Eritrea, a small country in the Northeast of Africa. I moved here 10 years ago. I moved to study, and I did my Master’s Degree and my PHD here.
What have been some of your highlights over the last 10 years?
Moving to a new country is not the same as when you were at home. Nowhere is as comfortable as home but at the same time for me, it was a good experience for me to learn a lot of new things. To learn a different part of the world, another culture. It made me globally rich in culture, history and society.
To move from one country to other, is a shock for many. But for me, it wasn’t so much of a shock. I was already mentally prepared and ready to move. I prepared for the move and prepared to learn. It has been a great experience.
Did you find it easy to settle down when you moved?
I was lucky because I moved here to study. I moved for my Master’s and when I arrived here, I was put in an international environment where many other people were also expats.
Everyone was also very curious to get to know each other and become your friend. For me, no matter where someone comes from, I wanted to get to know them. My best friend can be my colleague, my best friend can be my neighbour.
When I moved, everyone was curious about who I was, where did I come from. They are very open to meeting you so I would say it was really easy to make friends.
Did you find many challenges moving abroad?
There is always pros and cons. If you have a purpose and a target to achieve, it can help. The day-to-day activity, language barrier, etc. can be difficult for many, but for me, I was prepared.
Whenever I faced any challenges, I wasn’t ashamed to ask people for help. People are usually very open to helping you as long as you are genuinely needing help. I never had any major challenges, it was mostly minor things.
Nothing is the same as home. Of course, you miss your parents, you miss your friends, you miss your homeland, but at the same time, as long as you have purpose, it won’t be too difficult.
For me, to live in a different and new country, is just a new experience.
Would you recommend the expat move? And what advice would you give to those who are considering making an expat move?
Yes I would recommend it, people need to move. First-hand information is always the best.
I would say you should visit a place first, you can’t just watch a movie about somewhere. I think making one expat move, can be richer than reading 10 books about it. You will only experience it if you do it. You can read many stories and watch many movies, but there is always a big difference doing it in person.
I strongly recommend people to make a move. It can be challenging but at the same time, it is a brilliant and a rich experience. It has made me always want to be a student and learn more.
Finally, how would you summarise your expat journey?
It has been perfect!
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