Making friends is one of the challenges of relocating and is a common cause of stress among expats. Some expats are reluctant to make the effort to make friends because of the emotional upheaval of having to say goodbye. Others find it intimidating to meet new people.
Learning the language may not be a top priority for you when you relocate. There is so much else to do particularly in those early weeks and months.
However, as expats Dawn and Kate discovered, not knowing the language can be a huge barrier to integration and leave us feeling isolated in our new communities.
“The language barrier here [in Montreal] makes everyday tasks more challenging. It can lead to you feeling frustrated and like you’re failing to integrate in to your local neighbourhood” Dawn, UK Expat in Montreal *
“I found it difficult not to know how things worked when we first arrived. It seemed to take such a long time to organise activities for my children, like swimming lessons and skating lessons. The information on the internet was limited, and I was too scared to use the phone in case people expected me to speak French.” Kate, UK Expat in Montreal *