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Many of us grew up dreaming of our perfect life in some faraway country. As we grow older, that fairytale kingdom usually morphs into an actual country that we fall in love with from afar. By the time we hit our teens and early twenties, our dreams are slowly turning into plans. But if you’re a young person looking into international relocation companies because you want to move abroad, you may be starting to feel the pressure and nerves leading you to wonder if you’re maybe too young to move overseas. There is absolutely no simple answer to this question. Whether or not you’re the right age to make such a life-changing decision will depend on your personal circumstances. So let’s look at the factors that you should take into account.
Why you may be too young to move overseas
If you’re still underage, you’re probably moving from USA to Europe with your family. If that is the case, your parents have already decided that you’re old enough for this change (or they have no other choice). And make no mistake – your parents’ approval will make a difference when you’re a minor and need to get a passport and a visa. If you’re over 25, you may actually be wondering if it’s too late for you to move abroad rather than too early (don’t worry – it isn’t). But if you’re in the nebulous age between 18 and 25, you’re probably on the fence. You’re old enough to be on your own. But you still feel young and immature. And your anxiety over moving abroad is definitely reasonable.
Living alone for the first time is not easy
When you’re living with family, you have the benefit of other adults in the home helping you. Maybe your mom does laundry or your dad cooks for the family. But if you move overseas alone, you’ll have to do all that and more by yourself. That kind of responsibility is always scary. It’s even scarier if you’re moving somewhere far away where you can’t just call your parents if you get in trouble.
Finding a job as a foreigner with no experience or special expertise is hard
You might be starting university abroad or you may have just graduated. You’re probably eager to find a job in your branch to support yourself in your new home country, especially if you’ve already spent what savings you had on international moving costs. But you may find it difficult to get a job as a foreigner with little to no work experience regardless of your education. Especially if you’re moving to a country where you don’t speak the language, you’re far less likely to be hired than locals. This will certainly affect your budget and therefore your quality of life in your new home country.
Being a young expat is a very stressful
Research shows that young people today are experiencing higher levels of stress and anxiety than the generations that came before them. Moving overseas will only add to that. You’ll have to worry about finding a place to live, getting a job, adjusting to a whole new culture… If you’re moving from the US to Belgium or another country where English isn’t the official language, you may even have to learn a new language. All that on top of the typical stress young people are under today. That can be a lot for anyone to handle.
Why you’re probably not too young to move overseas
While it can certainly be difficult to move abroad young, there are also benefits to it. After all, young people move overseas all the time – there must be reasons for that. So if you’re considering this decision, you’ll want to weigh the mentioned risks against the biggest benefits of moving to another country young.
It is easier to adjust to new environments when you’re young
Young people typically find it easier to deal with change. There’s less to unlearn, fewer habits to drop, more plasticity to the brain that allows you to learn faster. All this means that adjusting to a life somewhere new will be easier on you when you’re 20 than when you’re 40. If you need to learn a language, you’ll do so faster. If you have to deal with nostalgia and post-relocation depression, you’ll handle it better. And you’ll probably make friends easier than you would if you moved later in life. This makes it easier for young people to build better lives abroad.
You might get better education and job opportunities early in life
A lot of young people move abroad for education. Europe, for example, offers great universities and the costs of them are often lower than in the US. So moving abroad could be a good decision for your education. Higher education will, in turn, open doors to better job opportunities as well. As a young person, these are certainly things that concern you.
It is good for personal growth
Hardships we go through teach us a lot about ourselves and life in general. And moving abroad at a young age will certainly make you face some serious challenges you wouldn’t deal with if you stayed at home. This might seem like a downside to moving. In fact, it’ll be good for you. It’ll force you to grow, learn how to adjust to completely new situations, and give you life experience like you couldn’t get from anything else.
How to answer the question of whether you’re too young to move overseas for yourself?
In the end, it is not possible for anyone but you to answer whether you are too young to move overseas. Part of being an adult (even a young one) is making your own decisions. Granted, this one may be bigger and harder than most. But it still needs to be yours. So weigh the pros and cons of moving abroad. Think about all the challenges that you will face and whether you can handle them by yourself. But don’t forget about all the benefits of the relocation either. If you’re willing and able to deal with a bit of stress and adjustment, you may just have the time of your life moving abroad.