Relationships, moving out, growing up, and just everyday life can be difficult as it is. But what about when the couple has different nationalities? Or when moving out equals moving abroad? When growing up means juggling higher education and work? And everyday life is about trying to figure out how to face and get through the challenges of living in a foreign country?
A young couple, Ollie and Vi, were kind enough to answer all of my questions about the topic of an “international relationship,” moving from one country to another, and the experiences they have had along the way.
Vi, at the age of 18, set out to pursue an education at a university in London. “Living in London as a foreigner was magical, to be honest, no one cared where I was from or what I looked like, everyone was much more tolerant than in Hungary.” They reminisce about their time in the UK. However, they add, since London is a huge city, it is sometimes easy to feel isolated when it takes an hour or more with the tube to get to your friends living on the other side of the city. “However, I would not trade this experience for anything,” they note.
When the couple decided to move to Hungary, their decision was heavily influenced by money. “We both wanted to go back to uni, which is very expensive in England, and Ollie already has a BA degree, so his student loan there wouldn’t cover his tuition,” Vi explains. “Rent is also very expensive, and if we were both studying there, it would be impossible to cover that.” And so they took off to Budapest, where they are now making a home for themselves, but Vi mentions that “as far as I can see, I’d love to move back to England eventually, but only after I graduate from uni and only if Ollie wants it too. It’s all about making decisions together.”
While Vi had no problem with English when they moved to London, Ollie says that he found his move “pretty daunting as a foreigner, particularly because my language skills aren’t quite there yet, so I find it hard to ask for things in Hungarian.” Getting all the papers and documents has also been quite the challenge, so it’s been difficult to get himself to feel “officially settled in.”
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But Ollie is very optimistic and looks forward to starting a life here. “I find it a very exciting place for me, simply because it’s all completely new to me so each day is almost a novel experience. It’s a lot cheaper here than in London, so money is a lot less of an issue.”
And Ollie’s advice to anyone considering moving abroad? “Take things one step at a time. There’s no point in stressing out about every little detail as soon as you move, and as you gradually get settled in, things tend to work themselves out for the better.” He also finds lists of important but manageable daily tasks helpful, such as registering with the doctors, getting a social security number, etcetera.
And what role do their different nationalities play in their relationship? Vi says that “our nationalities don’t really play a big role in our relationship. We were brought up in quite a similar way, therefore our values are quite similar too. It’s more like our interests, motivations, and goals that matter. Minor cultural differences are present of course, for example our food choices, such as: Ollie loves salted liquorice and I can’t even stand the smell of it, or when I had some poppy seed strudel and he found the amount of sugary poppy seed filling a touch overwhelming.”
Read more about what people from the UK find weird about Hungary HERE.
While Vi’s parents are both from Hungary, Ollie is the child of parents from different countries. He thinks it is “quite the blessing because if you’re taught two different languages from a young age, it can make learning new ones a lot easier. As well, both cultures and customs combine to make childhood a lot more interesting.”
Source: Daily News Hungary