When you marry a foreigner and move to another country, you will not only start a new stage of life, you, like a little child, will begin to learn a new language for you, will make the first unsure “steps” in a new social environment for you.
Integration is an inevitable process that determines how full and happy your life will be in the new country, how free and confident you will feel. Without a social circle, without understanding the laws and foundations on which society is built, you cannot feel like a full member, a part of it. Feelings of inferiority, insecurity, and fears can turn into nostalgia; you will start making biased and exclusively emotional parallels between life in different countries (“But everything is different here, everything is better organized…! They will never understand me!”) and become disappointed in the step you took, in moving abroad.
Integrating into a new society will require you to be proactive:
- Learn the language of your country of residence. This will make you feel confident and comfortable.
- Attend courses offered by the state to integrate newcomers.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Take a greater interest in the culture, history and way of life of your new homeland. Remember that at first you are a small child learning a new world. Explore this world with the innocence, joy, and energy inherent in children!
- Be tolerant of traditions, attitudes, and mentalities that are new to you. There is no one right view of the world, right traditions, or right mentality. There are worldviews and traditions that are native and familiar to you, but they are not the only right ones. You do not have to abandon your native culture (cultural identity) in favor of traditions that are foreign to you, but neither should you deny them. Vigorously denying the traditions of the country to which you have moved is a step toward social isolation and dissatisfaction with your life.
- Don’t limit yourself solely to taking care of your husband and the household. In addition to family and home, you should have a full social life.
- Be open to new contacts. If in Eastern European countries there is suspicion and mistrust of immigrants, in Europe immigrants are treated as full members of society. The local population is open to contact with people from other countries. So smile more (that’s how it is in Europe), be friendly, refrain from sullen criticism, and “go along” with the new people in your life. See The Influence of a Smile and Positive Emotions on Intercourse and Relationship with a Foreign Man.
- Criticize less. You may not yet fully understand the specifics of life, legislation, and social organization of the country to which you have moved. Criticism and negative comparisons will discourage you from making new acquaintances.
- Speak more to the natives rather than limiting your social circle to people from your home country. Talking to locals will not only help you learn more about the country’s culture and understand their mentality, but it will also be useful for improving your language skills.
- Work or charity work can help you integrate into your new society.