So, you’ve found yourself stationed overseas? There are so many adventures awaiting you! These are 7 steps you can take to help make the transition enjoyable!
Having the opportunity to be stationed overseas is one of the greatest advantages of being a military family. The prospects for travel and adventure are so vast! Having an open perspective and being willing to put yourself out there and be adventurous will help you take advantage of the opportunities before you!
Take a foreign language class…or three!
Many bases offer a simple language class, but if that doesn’t work for your schedule or preferences you can take a class with a college (like UMUC, or others, whatever is offered near you) or even one on the local economy. I did all three when we were stationed in Germany! They all give you a little different perspective and you learn different things from teachers in different environments, plus it was fun to get to know people from all over! And don’t feel pressured to be fluent in the language; any amount you can learn will help you to get around. A friendly attitude and trying to speak the language goes a long way!
You can volunteer, work, join a sports team, or take classes– whatever it is that you like to do, just do something! ACS oftentimes has great resources for organizations on post that need volunteer help, as well as employment resources. The great thing about volunteering is you can do as much or as little as you want, and you can find a position doing just about anything you would want to do! It is different being stationed in a foreign country, and getting yourself out there is one of the best ways to enjoy your time while you are there.
Make some local friends
If you can find some friends that are local to the area – (and who knows they may even be your neighbor!), you’ll have insider information on cool things to do, places to eat, and local culture. Not to mention you’ll have found someone to go do all those things with!
Visit local places
Some of the neatest things may be right in your neighborhood! When we lived in Germany, we lived in government leased housing in a German neighborhood – so we had easy access to local bakeries, butcher shops, restaurants and other amenities. Two of our favorite places ended up being within walking distance of our house! Even if you live on base, these things are typically not far away, and some bases even have a daily shuttle running multiple times a day to different towns, so if you don’t have a car you can still check local places out!
See if there’s housing available off post
Just to check out your options. Certainly there are pros and cons of both options, (and one or the other may not even be available, just depends on where you are) but checking out your options is the best way of finding the right fit! You’ll want to consider local amenities and see what you like best!
Eat like a local
There is an abundance of amazing places to eat in Europe! From experience, typically the less “touristy” a place is, the better it is! Get recommendations from friends, try new things, and be adventurous! You’ll be so glad you did, and it’s so much fun!
Hop on a bus, a train, an automobile! The best part about Europe is no matter where you end up, there’s always something interesting to see, do, or eat! Whether it’s just beautiful scenery, a little brewery, a gorgeous building, a new restaurant or historical landmark – there’s always something right around the corner! And, since Europe is much more focused on public transit you can explore a lot of places without having to drive yourself if you don’t want to!
Alyssa is an Army wife from Ohio who has lived in Washington, Germany and Colorado. She is a mom to a toddler and finds so much joy in being a stay at home mom right now. Alyssa has a bachelor’s degree in Globalization and International Affairs and a master’s degree in Business Administration. With a background in finance, she hopes to one day make a career out of helping military families with their finances. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family, music, traveling and baking.
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