Starting a new life abroad is an exciting time. New career opportunities, a positive change in your quality of living, not to mention better weather, are all great reasons to make the move. Settling into a new country may however bring with it a mixture of negative feelings and pressures.

It is no surprise that one of the biggest issues for any expat is battling with feelings of isolation or loneliness. The lack of familiar support systems when things go wrong can make even the smallest problem seem insurmountable.

They key to banishing the feelings is to keep connected – either through physical contact or technological contact.

Technological contact: Skype and FaceTime make talking to family and friends back home easy and cheap. If you arrange a specific time each week to speak to them, you’ll gain a sense of routine

Physical contact: If you have a job, meeting colleagues after work or grabbing lunch will open doors to new friendships and pursuits. If you’re at home, talking to a neighbour, pursuing a hobby or joining a sports club will take a proactive approach, but a regular night out each week will make you feel part of things and give you something to look forward to. Both will help combat those negative feelings.

Relationships can too come under strain when you’re in a new environment. Moving abroad may help change the location, but any problems you had with a marriage or parenting can be exemplified under stress. In many cases the key problems arise when roles are changed. Maybe you both worked back home, but now one of you has taken on new domestic or childcare duties. This can cause huge resentment, especially if the person going to work is finding friends and the other isn’t. Keep talking. If the worst comes to the worst, talk to a professional. Relationships Australia offer family and relationship counselling whilst the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy offers a database of practitioners and general information.

Understanding cultural differences both in the workplace and within the social structure, can be mind-blowing at first. While your new office and new job feel familiar, how your colleagues do business will no doubt be different. The key to success is to look and learn. Watch your colleagues; how do they dress for work? who takes the lead in meetings? Only by observing the business world you’ve entered will you get a true idea of what’s ok and what’s really not.

Cultural differences obviously apply outside of the work arena and it will take some time to work out how you are expected to interact with your new neighbours and friends. In some countries the gender divide is much more pronounced and in others a friendly but formal approach is essential. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, you will probably make the odd mistake, but others will be mindful that you don’t know all the rules. There are plenty of websites and blogs written on the subject so it’s worth doing your research before you go.

For more information about how PSS International can help you make your move visit

PSS International Removals is a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receive a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 33 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance in ensuring that our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.