Expat problems when moving to the US
The thought of moving from Japan to live in a foreign country like the United States of America may sound scary, challenging, and intimidating. Especially as an expat from Japan. And in some ways, it probably is exactly like that. Besides all the beautiful experiences a new country may offer, there are a lot of unknowns that an expat has to overcome. You should be aware that expat problems when moving to the US are challenging at first.
There are a lot of things expat has to adapt to in a country like the US which has so many differences from Japan. From the fundamental things like the language barrier, the difference in currency, to the more complex things like cultural differences, loneliness, fitting in… Firstly, you should not fear this or refer to it as a problem rather just the process of adaptation. You will overcome if you face it and not turn your back on it. So let’s get straight to expat problems when moving to the US and fix them.
How to move from Japan to the US
If you want to move to the US from Japan you have to get a visa. Firstly, you will schedule your appointment at the US embassy, determine your visa type and pay the visa fee. Visit the embassy on the date and time of your interview. After some processing time, you will have your visa so you can enter the US without problems. This process can be done also if you get sponsored by your employer if you are moving for work. If you have a family member in the US you can get them to sponsor you too. You can also apply for various other non-immigrant visas and with them, you need to go back to Japan after some time. And, finally, there are a tourist and student visas.
After that is done, your next step will be finding the perfect home for your needs. You can do this on the internet or you can find a realtor to find a home for you. Probably the best thing you can do in the beginning is to find an apartment that you can rent for some time. That will allow you to quickly change the place of living if you do not like the area you are living in, or you change your job or plans. Just make sure you review the place and the area well before singing it. Moving internationally can be tricky if you don’t prepare everything beforehand.
For moving you will have to decide what stuff will you keep and bring all the way to the US. You should have in mind that the international moving companies are often not so cheap and moving all your furniture from Japan may be very pricy. For some heavy, bulky things it is probably the best decision to keep them in Japan if they are not the necessities. If you decide you need to bring more than your suitcases you will need to hire a professional moving company to help you. Many moving companies offer international freight forwarding, which is the perfect option for you.
The next thing you know, you are boarding the plane to the US, and you are excited for the next 13 hours of flight till your new adventure in the US finally starts.
Expat problems when moving to the US
Expat problems when moving to the US can vary from person to person. It’s depending on you only which things you will find as a problem, and which ones as a blessing.
- First things first, you will face a language barrier. This will probably be the cherry on top of all the expat challenges you are facing from the time you put your foot off the plane.
- Nostalgia kicking in. It’s a normal thing to experience, no matter when or where.
- Cultural shock! Keep in mind that you are moving to a place with a completely different culture than yours.
- No friends, no family. No one familiar around.
- Food can also be a big problem for you until you adapt.
- And last but not the least, finances and work.
Fixing expat problems when moving to the US
Nostalgia and emotions
You will have to prepare yourself for a rollercoaster of emotions. You have to remember that every person is different and probably your experience will not be the same as the experience of your friend. But it is not a bad thing to inform, learn and educate yourself even before you come to the US.
There are some stages of emotions you will feel, first excitement for your new life, new place, a new adventure, then before you know it, daily struggles come. Probably some sadness and homesickness, anger, and loneliness. After some time you are beginning to understand that it is a completely normal phase that is already passing. And you are already adapting to the new life, you are becoming fluent, you are going to the local Starbucks to take your morning coffee and even on Friday night, you have a movie date.
You can always ask the moving company that you hired for some moving tips and help. You will probably be in a mess and you will have many other obligations and things to do. So any help on the way is good.
Last advice on overcoming expat problems when moving to the US
Remember, there are a lot of cultural, economical differences, communication barriers, and everyday living. None of them can be overcome if you try hard enough. Having expat problems when moving to the US is not an easy thing, but it’s not something that cannot be sorted out. So don’t worry that much!
To avoid some extra expat problems when moving to the US, do your research well. Find all the information needed for moving and prepare yourself with reading about American culture.
The first few years after you move can be challenging. But this is not a reason to give up. Try to find a circle of people with similar interests, like-minded people. Improve your language and communication skills – this is the best way to solve most problems. Good luck with the move, you will definitely succeed!