When you want to move abroad or anywhere new, you will want to research before you make the physical move in order to feel as comfortable as possible once you arrive.
As with nearly any subject, you will find a great resource for cultural customs and general living tips in the many travel books at your local bookstores and libraries.
What’s interesting about maps is that you can actually learn more about a culture from the way that they set up their cities, than you can from guidebooks in some cases. Cities with narrow streets and a local city centre seem to be more focused on community events and gatherings, for example.
Needless to say, the Internet is an invaluable resource for those that are trying to research any subject. It has countless travel sites, sites for those that want to travel and live abroad, etc. The only limitation is that the sources can be difficult to judge, so the information is not necessarily valid.
On the Internet, you will find hundreds of message boards and chat rooms that can help you learn more about the area that you are looking to live in. By typing in the area as well as chat room into a search engine bar, you should be able to find at least one place where you can meet others that can help you with your questions.
There’s always good information to be found in those that have already been in your shoes. By finding expatriates in your chosen home or via the Internet, you can find out much more than many books or travel guides could ever tell you.
When you find a local language course either in your new home or before you move, you will learn about the culture through the way that they speak. Some cultures are very quick and fast moving – so is their tone and accent – while others tend to be slower, more fluid – and their speech tends to be less formal and enunciated.
There are also a number of groups that tend to cultural studies that can help you learn more about your new home before you arrive. Going to France? Head to the local chapter on French related studies.
Of course, there’s no better way to learn about your new home than to spend some time in it. But you won’t be looking at the area as a tourist; you’ll be looking at it as a prospective homeowner.
While you might not be planning a vacation to your new home, travel agencies are very good at collecting information about regions and local customs. Talk to your local travel agent to see what kinds of information they can help you find.
There are also many courses available for those that are looking to learn more about a certain area. Many classes are primarily focused on learning about the local culture and customs while others are focused on making plans to relocate.