Living and working in another country? Read these tips!
Are you going to be living and working in another country? Then you most likely have a lot on your mind! You will be facing a completely new environment and there are a lot of arrangements to be made. How do you know that you are optimally prepared for living and working abroad? In this article, I, The Expat Coach, have gathered just a few useful tips to help you prepare for your time in another country.
Visit your new place of residence before you move
You have your eye on a certain country and it all seems very nice. But is it? You can only be sure by visiting your new hometown before moving. It would be a shame to go through all that trouble of finding a new place and then realising that your new host country is not at all like the expectations you had.
Just researchingon Google is not sufficient. Visit your new place of residence for a few days and get a good feel and orientation of the culture and costs. What amenities are in the city? What neighbourhoods appeal to youDoesit have what you need to live a happy, fulfilled life? For example, make an appointment in advance with a real estate agent to view some homes.
Get acquainted with your new work environment
It is also critical to get to know your new work environment, colleagues, and manager. Who are they? How do they think? What can you expect from them? Gather as much information as possible so that the transition can be as easy and smooth as possible.
This way, you can prevent an international assignment from experiencing failure and ending in an early return. The consequences of failing an international assignment are great. Namely, it can incur a lot of costs for both you and your organization, and may even damage your reputation as an employee or the reputation of your company. Additionally, it may have a negative effect on your self-confidence.
Discuss your plan with your partner and children
If you want to work in another country, then, of course, your partner and children will likely come with you. It is very important to prepare them extensively for their upcoming transition. Discuss with your partner and children what you want to do abroad, how long you will stay there, and so on. Address any spousal concerns and engage with employment opportunities to avoid spousal unemployment. Sit down with yourchildren to talk about hobbies and activities, their new place of residence, and what school they will attend. This way you prepare them for any potential difficulties.
Think about costs
Moving to another country can be costly. Therefore, familiarize yourself carefully with the various living expenses you may encounter. Some countries have much higher costs for rental housing than others. There are also countries where the cost of food is much higher. Check this carefully before selecting a specific country.
Some employers offer a Cost-of-Living Allowance. This can contribute to the cost difference between your current place of residence and your new place of residence. However, some employers do not. Make sure to discuss your options with your employer first, so you won't have any nasty surprises later.
Think about your bank account
Make sure you can also easily access and use your bank account abroad. Many banks have international accounts for individuals leaving to live and work abroad. You can often select and open these quite easily before you leave. With these, you can use your own bank account to pay your local bills.
Make sure to learn the language of the host country
It is always recommended that you learn the language of your new host country. Language learning will only make your experience better. You learn to communicate more easily and will likely be embraced and integrated faster as a result. This can help to reduce culture shock and overcome loneliness. It doesn't matter if you makemistakes. What matters is that you try and show that you are interested in your host country’s language and are eager to learn it.
Adapt to the new culture
Of course, by moving to another country you are being introduced to a completely new culture. Cultural differencesare something that is often overlooked. Often, the customs and habits you have will be very different in another country and work environment. If you really want to achieve success, you mustadjust to the new culture. Frequently, assignments end in failuredue to a lack of cultural adaptation. So, understanding your new culture is very important to guarantee success and desirable outcomes.
Take a look at how people greet each other, what kind of clothes they wear, how conversations are conducted, and what kind of etiquette is in place. You can find a lot of information about this online, but you can also have some more in-depth conversations with someone from your country in question. That is always your best bet.
Give yourself time to adjust
And my final tip: Chances are you will face culture shock to some extent. Cultural differences can be overwhelming and stressful, making it very important to take this into account. It is definitely advisable to give yourself sufficient time to get adjusted to a new culture and country. After some time, you will feel more at home. It won’t take long for you to have a good time!