So you emigrated, but no one told you about …

It is exciting to see the world and be able to make use of opportunities outside the borders of South Africa, but that does not mean that your roots cannot still be in South Africa. Many South Africans who emigrate realise that matters such as conserving your culture, having a support system, managing your money matters or making friends can be a huge challenge. But how can you overcome these challenges with support from South Africa?

1. Build cultural ties

Perhaps no one told you before you emigrated that you will miss your language and culture. One never knows how precious something is until you no longer have it. And to recreate your culture in another country is challenging. It is thus ideal to, as far as possible, keep cultural ties with South Africa. And how do you do that? Create a calendar with all you favourite events and festivals in South Africa and try to plan your visits to South Africa so you can attend Aardklop, a music concert or Day of the Covenant. If you do not necessarily pay visits to South Africa, see if there is a live broadcast of the event and get your whole family to watch it together. AfriForumTV is an online platform where viewers can stream Afrikaans content of various genres.

Cultural ties do not only imply having your own cultural calendar, but also to stay in contact with cultural organisations like the FAK, Voortrekker Monument and AfriForum Worldwide. Sign up for their newsletters and become more involved in those communities. You might get such enjoyment from it that you become a contributor of content and also start sharing your story as an Afrikaans South African abroad!

2. Become part of a network

A great fear for everyone is the lack of a support network. To be alone is one thing, but to be lonely is something else. Make a list of the friends and family you know you have to contact regularly, but you push it aside when you have little time. Mark on your calendar the weeks you had time to make contact with your people. You will soon realise that the easier you loose touch the more stressed you feel. The more time you spend with people who understand you, the easier it becomes to look forward to each day.  

A network is not only to chat with your family, but also to officially become involved in the community such as integrating into a church, or Facebook groups for South Africans abroad or to offer to become an organiser of events.

3. Use South African services

Certain services abroad can be very expensive, but nothing for instance keeps you from still having South Africans handling your financial services. Find a financial advisor that understands your situation, can handle your investments or provide advice on tax if they understand both counties’ legislation and tax measures. There are numerous stories of how South Africans travel back to South Africa when they for example want to visit a dentist for a procedure because certain countries’ medical expenses are unaffordable. Other services like graphic design and web development are often also cheaper in South Africa than countries like England or America. Make use of cheaper services in South Africa as far as you can!

Also visit AfriForum’s World Guide. This guide enables people to once again support South African businesses abroad.

The World Guide is where South African businesses from around the world get together to form a community. The World Guide currently has more than 1 400 businesses, from Afrikaans doctors in New Zealand to biltong shops in London.  

Networking is not only about businesses; it is also a valuable way of building a support base for those days when the longing for good South African wine, socialising around a braai and the indispensable South African hospitality becomes too much.

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