People think that speaking a foreign language is enough when moving to another country. The truth is that, most often, language skills are very important, but a lot of factors must be taken into account in this case: language, cuisine, forms of address, clothing, views on alcohol consumption/smoking, sociability, gestures, punctuality and many others.
If many of these issues are not properly considered, there is the risk of a less than pleasant transition in the new country. Therefore, it may be useful to adapt our behavior to the new local conditions, to live and to work comfortably in the new country and to improve our communication with others, so as to display an attitude of trust and respect. However, this is not so easy for everybody. When we leave behind a familiar environment, we are taking along a whole baggage of stereotypes and clichés that we take for granted, but which may prove inadequate in the new country. We have to let them go and use our intelligence and adaptive skills to discover the fine details of communication and life in the new country.
We must be aware of the obvious differences between the two countries, at least at socio-cultural level. Hair, eyes or skin color are the first things we notice, so stereotypes and preconceptions are not at all beneficial when moving to another country. Apart from these superficial aspects, a new society means a new set of rules, mostly unwritten, regarding private space, eye contact, the status of women and men, attitude toward money and time, hierarchy and social classes.
A good understanding of these aspects and the internalization of the new set of socio-cultural rules can ensure a smooth transition to the new life in another country.