Moving to A Different Country At 18 | 6 Challenges And Benefits

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In most countries, by age 18, you can do a few more things without repercussions, like drinking, owning a house, and traveling solo. Traveling around the world by yourself is a dream for many young adults. It’s both exciting and nerve-wracking but a learning experience nonetheless. So much so that some 18-year-olds fully commit to moving out of their childhood homes and relocating abroad.

It’s not unusual to hear about people choosing to relocate to another country at a young age, but it is rare. Most 18-year-olds still have school or jobs to attend, which is why they’d prefer to remain where they are until they’re ready to leave. However, moving to a different country at a young age has advantages and disadvantages. Here are some pros and cons for your reference:

Challenges

Distance From Loved Ones

One major disadvantage of moving to a different country at 18 is your distance from family and friends. It’s no longer about a few kilometers from one county to the next. You’ll probably be oceans apart, especially if you move to another continent. 

Moving abroad at such a young age may be emotionally taxing if you’re very close to your family. Once you settle in another country, you won’t have the same emotional support you once had at home. Fortunately, communication is not a huge problem nowadays with the advent of social media, improved smartphones, and video calls. Mom, dad, and all your friends are just a call away, but it won’t be the same as having them physically by your side.

Language And Culture Difference

Even if you’re moving within Europe and are only a train ride away from home, languages, and cultures will change when you cross borders. If you only speak English, you could have difficulty assimilating into another country where English isn’t the lingua franca. You might also need to learn the country’s primary language at a conversational level to get by.

Regardless of this hurdle, being young allows you to adapt faster. You may find adjusting to a country easier if you have decent knowledge and a love of its language and culture. People in their 20s and younger might learn the ropes better and quicker than people in their 40s and beyond, but adapting to another country is still a problem you’ll have to face.

Money

Earning money is already challenging, but making enough money to survive in another country is another massive obstacle. Many countries exclusively hire professionals for high-paying positions. And if you’re 18 years old and don’t have a degree, you might end up doing an ordinary administrative job, which may require some language ability. Alternatively, you can work from home, but laws on outsourced services may differ from country to country.

Getting a decent job abroad is much more difficult if you don’t have work experience or knowledge. Hence, your quality of life while in another country will be affected by your budget. If you want to live comfortably elsewhere, you’ll need a job to cover your living costs.

Despite the challenges of moving to a different country at 18, it has its fair share of advantages. Here are some of them:

Benefits

Independence

Most if not all children yearn for some semblance of independence. While you learn it one step at a time as a child, you’ll somehow be forced to become independent due to circumstance or when you finally turn 18. You will be forced to grow up if you decide to live abroad away from your family.

Independence is a good thing when you put it to good use. However, becoming self-sufficient doesn’t imply being able to do whatever you want. It would be best if you still exercised responsibility, even as a young adult. Nevertheless, living abroad gives you more opportunities to accomplish things you couldn’t do at home. You’ll discover what you should and should not do while living independently in a different country.

Personal Growth

School and your home can only teach you so much. It’s why many people choose to travel as much as possible. The world can offer many lessons you’ll never learn within the four walls of a classroom. For instance, you may have lived a sheltered life until now. But once you’re on your own, you’ll have to learn how to thrive by yourself. 

Moving to a different country at 18 is a scary experience for the most part. You’ll experience many bumps, bruises, and heartaches along the way, but all of that will become essential life lessons you’ll keep forever.

Better Job Or Education Opportunities

The competition for decent-paying jobs and tertiary education in your home country can be cutthroat for some. If you’re planning to move abroad for better opportunities, you could have better luck at18. 

In some countries, tuition fees for universities tend to be much cheaper than in others while still providing quality education. The best part is that you won’t be alone if you intend to study abroad. You’ll encounter many other foreigners your age who are probably experiencing the same things you are. That’s an excellent opportunity to meet and build friendships while living in another country.

Conclusion

While you might be too young to move to another country, 18 seems to be a decent start age. Since complexity is inherent to the real world, you may expect to encounter some difficult obstacles along the path. But the challenges you face now will develop into invaluable life lessons you’ll never forget. Moving to a different country at 18 is still an exciting experience you won’t have if you relocate at 30. You get actually to reside in and discover the nation of your choice. Consequently, you might not want to go back home for a while.