When doing your research and asking others for advice, consider looking into the following areas:
If you are moving to a country that does not speak your native language, it could be very helpful to take some language courses before you arrive or shortly after arriving to help you feel more comfortable and confident in your new home. Consider the following sentences as a starting point:
- Hi / Please / Thank you
- My name is __________
- I am from __________
- Where is the __________ ?
- I’m lost
- Can you speak slower please?
- I do not speak __________
In addition to the local language, it may be useful to develop your English skills, as many international sports organisations (like FIBA) operate in English due to the global nature of the sport. Furthermore, you will probably not be the only international player in your team.
- Living accommodations
Being prepared and having your living situation in place before you arrive can make a huge difference in how quickly you adjust. Find out about the different areas in the city or village you will live in – which area best suits your lifestyle? Also, make sure to check the reputation of certain parts of the city and avoid neighbourhoods that are known for their unsafety or for their noise.
Do some research about how people get around in your new town. Will you need a car or is there adequate public transportation available? How much will you need to spend each month on getting around?
Find out what the climate is like at different times of the year. This is also relevant for dress.
Depending on the country and region of the world you are moving to, or even visiting, you may need immunisations before you enter the country. This information is typically available online through your country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Embassy.
- Social norms
Knowing how you are expected to interact with others and present yourself can make your adjustment much easier. Learn about what behaviours are (and are not) acceptable, and which behaviours may be different from those you are used to at home. Look into accepted behaviours regarding gender roles, meeting new people, alcohol consumption, religious observances, eating manners, clothing, and even physical gestures.
- Laws and punishment
Some rules might just get you a fine in your home-country; however, they might entail prison (or death penalty) in some others. Make sure that you are aware of differences in laws and punishment and respect your host country.
- Learn and understand the historical context
Learn the most relevant historical events happening in your host country. Also, make sure to investigate about the role that your home country has played in the history of your host country. This might help you understand their culture or their behaviour towards you.
- Emergency contacts
Make sure you know who to contact in case of emergency. This can include the police, firefighters, hospitals, taxi service, or even your embassy. Program those numbers into your phone before arriving.