Traveling abroad: 4 key stages

What actually happens when you go traveling abroad? Whether for a language course, an extended holiday with friends or work experience, leaving home can be incredibly exciting but you never know what lies ahead. Going on a trip is always a great adventure and while you’re away you’re sure to go through different – on the whole positive - emotional stages. We at Sprachcaffe set out to depict these many feelings using GIF.

Here's what we found...

There are typically four stages you go through when moving abroad. Of course, everyone’s experience is different and you won’t necessarily encounter these stages with the same intensity and for the same duration as we describe them here. However, this article offers all future travelers a heads up on what to expect.

The "honeymoon" stage is the first of the four: everything is new and you are more than eager to discover the country and culture surrounding you. You’ve never been to this country before and you only know about it from travel blogs, National Geographic photos or TV series.

You are completely amazed by the simplest things, just because it’s your first time seeing them in reality

You listen to locals talking on the street and already imagine yourself being part of the community

After all this wonder subsides, the "culture shock" strikes. Your destination has its share of enchantment but you slowly start to notice the cultural differences between there and your own country. You will need to adapt to all of this and it can be scary. The language barrier seems hard to overcome and you are far away from home.

You sometimes don’t understand anything you are told, which is frustrating

There are a lot of things you miss - your family and friends but also tea and cheddar cheese

But don’t stress! It is very normal to be a little unsettled. Everything will get better soon! It's called the "adjustment stage": you gradually start to feel more at ease and get to know your surroundings, the culture and the local people better. Your ability to understand and make yourself understood improves day by day!

You managed to order a pizza on the phone with extra cheese and olives but no onions and when it arrived it was exactly what you had meant to order

You invited your neighbors for tea and they said yes

The final stage, called the "integration stage", finally arrives: you have no problem starting conversations with locals and have self-confidence when using the language.

No one corrects your mistakes anymore and people often congratulate you on your languages skills - so much that it becomes a bit embarrassing!

You have successfully integrated and become part of the community! Congratulations!

As I said, finding your feet in a new country is an experience filled with emotions but everyone who has experienced it will tell you that it's totally worth it! And if one day you need to go back to your home country, you will certainly feel a little heartache....