Any expat living in Kuşadası can list you lots of benefits and drawbacks of living in another country, but have we ever thought about how those who choose to move to the UK to start a new life feel?
Fatoş,the Kusadasi Mozaik language school administrator, has the enviable ability to speak English and Turkish fluently. Fatoş lived in England for 6 years, and below offers some thoughts based on her own experiences.
Travel takes a new turn when it extends to months or even years.
Living and working in a foreign country means more than learning new languages and customs, and it’s never quite the way it seems in travel books and brochures!
The best part of living abroad is that most locals welcome strangers, if a bit slowly at first. Help will be available if you learn how to ask for it. If you bring an understanding that the ways things are done at home is not better or worse…just different and you learn to appreciate the differences, your life in another country will be an adventure that you will enjoy.
Like any new experience, living abroad has it’s wonderful moments — and then there are those moments when all you want to do is run home. For most expats, the moments of happy discovery far outweigh the bad times. There are ways to help make sure that this is true for you. For one, make sure you have a realistic idea of what living in another country will bring. Find out about the ambiance of the place you are going to call home before you get there so you can mentally prepare for most of the changes you’ll face.
Learn the Language
Unless you can communicate with the people in your new found home, you will feel not only excluded socially but also frustrated that you cannot make yourself understood. This is how I felt, especially when I didn’t understand jokes that other people happily laughed at or songs with apparently beautiful lyrics. Integrating and being accepted by society necessarily means actively learning their language. As soon as I arrived in England, I arranged for some English lessons which empowered me and gave me the verbal tools that are necessary for completing the simplest of tasks. With my growing vocabulary, I gained renewed confidence.
Take Things As They Are
You may not agree with how things are done in your new country but try not to let this discourage you from integrating. The most difficult part of living in Turkey is the directness of the people. You could be told many a time how awful you look (especially when you know it!) and you could be shouted at by public officials in the most horrendous way. You may not be used to this in your home country because people there are generally indifferent, using this as a shield for their true thoughts. Organisation in Europe is a top priority as is pragmatism and patience (in general). In Turkey, things are done differently. This may take time to get used to. One thing to remember is that it doesn’t help to stress over this or to become upset.
Remind Yourself of Home
Having said all of the above, we are not made of iron. It is only natural to feel home sick. Integration does not require forgetting who you are and where you are from. In England, I used to indulge both of my cultures by reading Turkish magazines and eating my favourite Turkish food. I made Turkish and English friends with whom I could relate my experiences to. Take time to remind yourself that you are not that far from home, no matter where you are in the world.
As well as being the school’s administrator Fatoş is also a registered translator. For more information about any of the services our school provides please contact us on 6142084, or see our website www.mozaiklanguages.com