August 6, 2021

S1 – Ep7: Voete vind – Settling in

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Die Groot Trek
Die Groot Trek
S1 - Ep7: Voete vind - Settling in
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In this episode we discuss a few aspects that all of us might have experienced as tricky during the settling in phase of our expat journey. But we also touch on a few hacks that might help to assist future expats to settle in a tad easier.

Show Notes

Note: for any questions, comments or suggestions, feel free to contact us via email (info@onsvirjoupodcast.com) or direct message us on Instagram @Onsvirjoupodcast

The ‘settling in phase’ in your new country can potentially last up to a number of months. Even after you are comfortable and settled in, there might still be a few things that remind you from time to time that you are an expat and not (yet) a local in your new country of choice.

In this episode we discuss a few aspects that all of us might have experienced as tricky during the settling in phase of our expat journey. But we also touch on a few hacks that might help to assist future expats to settle in a tad easier.

Tricky aspects to consider while settling in to life in your new country:

  • Language 
  • Work and work environment)
  • Cost of living
  • Working expenses back to Rand(-ellas)
  • Public transport (PT) 
  • Driving (same or opposite side of the road)
  • Financial systems 
  • Medical system
  • School system and finding a good school for your kids
  • Personal finance: (Investments, savings, long term insurance, Testaments etc.)
  • Food
  • Culture
  • Politics

Potential hacks to overcome some of these hurdles: 

Discussed in the podcast episode:

  • Work and work environment: 
    • Get involved and talk to your new colleagues
    • Join the social events that you company organizes
    • Talk to as many people (especially at the coffee corner, photocopier machine etc.)
    • Discussions with colleagues can help you understand the language, culture and politics of the country.

  • Cost of Living & Working expenses back to Rand:
    • The cost of living in most 1st world countries are generally more expensive than what most Saffas are used to back home. You might earn more, but accommodation, transport, food etc are also more expensive. Therefor: 
      • Although it is not recommended, it is human and normal to work this back to Rand(-ellas) in the first few months, or potentially years. So don’t worry its’ normal and it will get a little better over time.

  • Financial system and personal finance:
    • Personal finance and the financial system and culture is different than back  in South Africa. 
    • Potentially more regulated and with stricter laws.
    • And generally in Europe and especially the USA, people feel more comfortable to invest their own money instead of going through the standard financial advisor route that we are used to in South Africa.  
    • If you don’t have the time or don’t generally enjoy reading up on financial laws and minor details and systems it could be more than worth it to get in contact with a professional financial advisor in your new country.


Other notes and hacks:

  • Language:
    If you move to a country where the main language is not English you might find a lot of value in taking language courses as soon as you get over or even beforehand.

  • Public Transport: 
    • If you are not sure about how the public transport system works or which bus or train you need to take or how the train card system works, ask your colleagues or people at the bus – or train station. The more questions you ask in the beginning the quicker you will get acquitted with the PT system. ALSO, at most big train and bus stations there are information counters. Don’t be shy, ask ask ask.   
    • Another hack might be to download the public transport app and prepare for your specific route that you need to take to wherever you are going.

  • Medical System: We will cover this extensively in a future episode 

  • School system and finding a good school for your kids: Also to be discussed with guests in future episodes

  • Food: 
    Try out different meals and recipes. Especially the “proudly local  meals”
    • New Zealand: Hangi
    • Netherlands: Stamp- en hutspot
    • England: Fish and Chips, or Chicken curries or the Shepherd’s pie etc…
    • USA: anything deep fried 😉   

  • “Behou die lekker, die gesonde en los die snaakse volksvreemde dinge wat vir jou hoedervleis onder jou voetsool gee”

  • Culture & Politics
    • There is almost no better way to get to know a country than by understanding the culture and politics in that country.
      • Talk with newly made friends or colleagues 
      • Read the news papers
      • Watch the news .. etc:


SAFFA INDEX: Mrs H.S. Balls Chutney 470gr
(or “Mister” Balls Chutney as Eduan referred to it in the episode :-)) 

 

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Shout outs Music and sound editing: Etienne Swanepoel (from “africa_withet”).
Follow him on Instagram @africa_withet