How to get an international mindset when living abroad 🗺️

Learn FIVE steps on how to get an international mindset when living abroad.

Japanese lantern depicting an international life. You want to grow your mindset to benefit the most when living abroad.
You want to grow your mindset to benefit the most when living abroad.

These steps are clear and practical, easy to implement while living abroad. Learn, stop comparing, challenge, give a chance and celebrate are the steps you will learn about a bit more in this article.

Have you recently moved abroad? 

You are not yet used to the new life. How can you stop feeling lost and uncertain every time you have to go out to your daily errands? Are you feeling confused or discouraged to start anything in your new environment?

By implementing these FIVE steps in your daily routines when living abroad, you can create new habits that will help you feel stronger and motivated.  You will have a clear understanding of how and when to apply them. So you can make them yours and easily incorporate them into your daily life.

More importantly, you will feel better about yourself and towards others. You will benefit from the experience of living abroad and see yourself as a more balanced person.

#1 Learn

You may take the opportunity of living abroad as a way to learn new things you never had the time to do so.

MAKE A LIST of subjects you want to learn more about, like a new language and getting a certificate or diploma you are interested in. You can acquire new skills on how to use social media for marketing or a business. Likewise, you can invest your time into learning about another cuisine, painting or art history class, or even start playing an instrument.

PRACTICE while you learn! Consider joining a club related to your interest, like a book club or museum guided tours. Definitely, volunteering in a local non-profit organisation would help you feel connected with your community.Most importantly, are the BENEFITS you will get! For example, meeting new people, both local and other international going through the same experiences. As a result of taking these actions, you will get a new skill, but above all, they will help boost your inner confidence!

Step #2  Stop comparing

Do not compare yourself to anyone else but YOU.

When we want to become a better version of ourselves, we tend to look for a reference. Usually is someone we admire and take as a model. It gives us some guide and direction. When living abroad, you may find another Expat who has been living there for quite some time. And you may take that person as a reference, and that is good! But, do not compare yourself with that person. That is never beneficial for anyone. 

First of all, you do not know that person’s struggles or efforts that they had to make before they arrived at where they stand now. You don’t know their background either hence you cannot clearly identify their journey. So it is pointless to compare yourself with them.

On the other hand, you do know about your struggles and the efforts you have made. So you know what YOU can do. You can then work on becoming a better version of yourself. So, while living abroad, you can do more of what is good for you and modify what is not beneficial for you. 

Step  #3 Challenge yourself.

Accept the new life presented to you as you would accept a gift. Embrace it and make it yours. You know you are not yet skilled as you were before you moved abroad, but what can you do instead? You have made a list already, so how are you going to put into practice those ideas? Make a small plan by asking yourself these three questions:

  • What needs to be done? For instance, when looking for language schools, what do you want to know about? Do you want an online course or a face-to-face one?.
  • How am I going to do it? Ex. I will do it by searching on Google and asking in the municipality and my embassy.
  • By What day will I have this task done? Example: I want to finish by Friday this week. Or, I will have it done in five days.

Step #4 give a chance to yourself and to others. 

Living abroad makes us be out of our comfort zone. So we tend to be more critical of ourselves and towards others. That is normal and quite common. But, ask yourself these questions when you start doubting yourself and being critical:

 *Is this helping you to feel more engaged and relaxed? Not, really. Instead, when you’d facing an unfamiliar situation, give yourself the time to go through it. Buying at the grocery store and suddenly forgetting how to say “apple” in your new language… Then you panic, or feel embarrassed, 

*What will you do instead? Practice Optimism: Relax, smile, and point at it instead. You will remember next time. Make a mental note of this moment with humour and a smile, and you will remember the word next time! 

Step #5 Celebrate. 

Celebrate your small wins. 

Give yourself a thumbs up when you get to understand a sign on the street of your new city. Celebrate when you remember how to ask for directions in the local language. You most certainly want to celebrate when your neighbour greets you in the morning, and you remember how to say GOOD morning in your acquired language!

Share your wins with friends you made while living abroad, and with the ones back home too, with humour and optimism.


To sum up, do learn a new language or skill. Make a list of subjects you are interested in and see the benefits. Similarly, practice your acquired skills while helping others.

Be gentle with yourself, and give yourself the time and kindness you will show to a friend.

Remember that living abroad will make you feel vulnerable, but you can share your wins to celebrate your new life with friends and family!

Do you want to know more about Expat Life and how to benefit the most out of it?

Are you looking for more personalized tips and feel more at ease while living abroad? 

I am an Expat Life Coach practitioner with more than 20 years living abroad. Through coaching sessions, I can provide some guidance to you. You will not feel lost in your new country, but start feeling more engaged and determined.

You may contact me by visiting my website to learn how to invest in yourself and grow while living abroad. If you want to book a consultation call, click the button below and we can have a chat.

If what you are looking for is to learn more about how to invest in yourself and grow while living abroad, visit the Launch You program to get some ideas!

See you at my next post!

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