The unexpected side effect of moving abroad

Moving abroad changes you in many ways but perhaps most surprising is the way it affects your relationship with your home country.

The unexpected side effect of moving abroad

Many people move abroad with a mind to experience a new culture and way of life. But that doesn’t mean you’re prepared to cut yourself off from your native culture. That said, when you’re living in a different country it’s inevitable that you begin to feel out of touch with what’s happening ‘back home’. 

The Local asked international residents how they retain their connection to their home cultures while living abroad. This is what they had to say.

Reading news and current affairs

Whether you’ve lived abroad for ten months or ten years, you probably still have an interest in what’s happening in your home country. Many people who reside overseas keep up with news and politics by reading online news sites or streaming radio channels.

Reading literature from your home country can help you to stay up-to-date with current affairs, new slang words and pop culture. Technology has made this much easier with magazine reader apps such as Readly which allows you to read 4,000 top magazines, including titles like Time magazine, Vogue UK and Forbes, on your tablet or smartphone for less than €10 a month. What's more, Readly doesn't geoblock content so you'll get access to its full portfolio of magazines wherever you are in the world.

Get a one month trial of Readly for just 0,99€/9SEK/99p


One of the greatest joys of moving abroad is discovering all of the local dishes. Food and culture are intricately connected and so not to venture outside of your culinary comfort zone would be nothing short of a travesty. 

That said, living in a foreign country can also be isolating at times and there’s nothing more comforting than a familiar meal. One way of nurturing your relationship with your home country – and making yourself feel more at home in your expat country – can be preparing your favourite dishes from ‘back home’. 

Meeting up with other expats

Living overseas presents a unique opportunity to make friends from many different cultures. Not only will you meet people who hail from the country you’re living in but you’re also likely to forge friendships with other expats from all over the world. 

Sometimes, though, you just need to spend time with someone who understands where you’re coming from (quite literally). It can also make you feel less homesick to touch base with someone from your native country. Of course, it may also have the opposite effect – after all, you moved abroad for a reason!

Read your favourite magazines on your smartphone or tablet with Readly

Listening to podcasts

It’s no wonder that podcasts are particularly popular with international residents. They’re a convenient and entertaining way to stay abreast of politics, current affairs and pop culture. Podcasts are also immersive in a way that reading a news story isn’t — they allow you to listen to your native language and the way it's currently being used in your home country. 

Social media

Staying in touch with friends and family was harder for expats before everybody and their dog had a social media account. Nowadays, a plethora of social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram makes it easy to keep up-to-date with all of your loved ones. 

Many international residents also use social media as an alternative way to stay clued up with current affairs in their home country, with Black Twitter particularly standing out as a cultural lifeline for many people living abroad.

Readly is the ultimate magazine subscription with the best magazines from around the world all in one app. A subscription to Readly gives you unlimited access to more than 4,000 titles for a small monthly fee with no additional cost (and you can cancel anytime). You can download magazines for offline reading without an internet connection (for example, when travelling) and share with family on up to five devices.

This article was produced by The Local Creative Studio and sponsored by Readly.



Facebook News set to launch in Germany in May

Facebook will roll out its news platform in Germany from May, providing articles from around 100 existing German media outlets, the US-based tech giant said Monday.

Facebook News set to launch in Germany in May
Newspapers on a high speed train in Germany. Photo: DPA

“Facebook News, a place dedicated to journalistic content will launch in German in May 2021,” the social media giant said in a statement, adding that it would offer content from a “strong and diverse range” of German titles.

The platform, launched in the US in 2019 and in the UK in January, delivers users of the world’s leading social network curated news content bought from traditional publishers.

Facebook will pay publishers for their content, with the list of German partners ranging from prestigious national weeklies such as Die Zeit and Der Spiegel to regional dailies like the Rheinische Post.

“We are delighted to try out new ways to reach our readers with quality journalism in close partnership with platforms like Facebook,” said Spiegel Group Managing Director Stefan Ottlitz.

READ ALSO: German court fines Facebook over hate speech action failings

In total, Facebook claims the German platform will host “more than 100 media brands”, including major groups such as Funke and Conde Nast. Yet it will not include German media giant Axel Springer, which owns top national titles such as Die Welt and the country’s most widely read Bild daily.

“We consider it problematic that some platforms are on the one hand trying to become news media themselves, while at the same time fobbing off publishers with disproportionately low payments,” an Axel Springer spokesman told AFP.

“We advocate for a European copyright which allows all media companies to receive reasonable remuneration.”

Facebook claims its platform will help German media companies “win new readers, monetise content and expand business model in a sustainable and long term way”.

Media companies have struggled with dwindling advertising revenue and print sales as content has moved online and become available for free, forcing a host of titles to close.

In an attempt to redress the balance between traditional media and modern tech giants, the European Union included a so-called “neighbouring right” in its 2019 reform to copyright law, forcing digital giants to sign remuneration agreements with media companies.

Yet Facebook is yet to sign any such agreement, preferring instead to focus on its own initiatives such as Facebook News and the Facebook Journalism Project.

In February, Facebook blanked out the pages of media outlets for Australian users and blocked them from sharing any news content for several days, in protest at proposed legislation to force it to pay for journalistic content.

It eventually ended the blackout after reaching a last-ditch deal with Australian lawmakers.