The benefits and challenges of relocating internationally for work
Alperen Celik - March 13, 2023
Choosing to relocate internationally for work is a big step, and if you’re considering it, it can feel like an overwhelming and challenging experience. The job opportunities abroad are incredible ways to explore something new.
On the one hand there are so many exciting things to look forward to: exploring a new country and a new culture, meeting people from all over the world, broadening your horizons and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. But on the other hand, packing up your life into boxes and moving around the world presents some very real challenges that need to be thought through carefully.
In this blog post we'll discuss both sides of international relocation, examine exactly why it's a great opportunity as well as looking at some potential issues expats may face along the way.
What’s in this article
1. Understanding your visa requirements
2. Preparing for the culture shock
3. Finances and budgeting for your life abroad
4. Language barriers in new country
5. Making friends living abroad
6. Finding employment when moving abroad
Understanding your visa requirements
Before making any plans to travel internationally for your dream job, it is important to understand your visa requirements and the necessary laws and regulations. Many countries have entry requirements that can be complex. It's essential to know if you need a visa or not.
It is always worth researching the foreign country and its visa policies well in advance to help ensure a smooth journey. Knowing the relevant government rules and regulations before you go can also be helpful, as this will reduce the risk of any issues at borders or customs. Visa requirements may depend on different factors such as whether you're traveling on business or pleasure. Generally speaking, visa’s are a requirement to work in a foreign country. If this is the case for you, make sure to look into it well ahead of time!
So familiarize yourself with all the necessary details in advance and stay one step ahead. Doing so will make your international experience in your time of living abroad much more pleasurable.
Preparing for the culture shock
Moving abroad to a different country can be scary. It can be hard to get used to a new culture. But with good planning, it doesn't have to be so scary.
It's important to research the culture and people of your new location beforehand so you can begin to familiarize yourself with the customs and local culture and understand what behaviors are appropriate in different contexts. Everyday life in a new country can be different from what you are used to. Some start very late in the day, but other countries might also finish very late with work. Another country might start the week on Sunday, for instance, in the middle east.
Don't forget that your diet will most likely change too when moved abroad. You will learn about new foods of other cultures, make sure you invest time in trying it all. You might want to work on your spice tolerance in some parts of the world if you’re not into hot food!
Moving abroad to a new country and learning about the new languages and cultures will have an adjustment period. You will be overwhelmed and it's totally normal. Make sure you enjoy your fresh start and experience a new environment like a tourist would.
The more information and communication skills you arm yourself with prior to the move, the easier it will be to adjust in your new home country and make genuine connections with the locals!
Finances and budgeting for your life abroad
Moving abroad to a new home is exciting but can be quite costly. Whether you're relocating to a new city, state, or even a different country, it's essential to save some money and plan out your budget carefully when in another country.
There are all sorts of expenses associated with moving abroad and setting up a new home including apartment rentals, furniture, and everyday living expenses. The best way to save yourself from any future financial struggle is having a strong budget and sticking to it at all times. Living abroad doesn't have to be costly if you use the tools to your advantage. Have a look online and ask expats about their international experience. They have been through it already and might have great tips to save money. A professional network such as on LinkedIn might have groups you can join related to your host country. These professional connections can help you with your start and you might even find some new friends while doing so.
So, ask around and connect with expats to learn more from them on budgeting and finances in your new home country. Put away some funds for emergency situations so that you can navigate your finances safely during the home-buying or renting process!
Language barriers in new country
Navigating a language barrier when you move to a new country can be one of the most difficult parts of immigrating.
Taking language classes or brushing up on a few key phrases in the native language can make all the difference when it comes to settling into a new language and culture quickly and efficiently. Not only will knowing the language help you communicate with locals, but it also makes it easier to access services such as utilities, hospitals, and even food delivery.
Taking the time to learn a few words or hire a language tutor is an investment well worth making when it comes to adjusting in a new or foreign country. The barrier is one to overcome and having a new language in your arsenal is an amazing benefit to your career development and portfolio!
Making friends when living abroad
Being far from your lifelong friends and family can be hard and making new connections with locals may look daunting. Believe us, it's easier and more fun to live and work abroad than you might think!
Since you're not the only one moving in for work, lots of people are looking for a friend to share the experience with. Living abroad brings a lot of new people into your day to day life. People from different cultural backgrounds will enter your working life and your surroundings. These people will create a new cultural awareness and give you amazing personal growth with time. Don't be afraid and have a chat here and there. People in international environments are always interested in new stories and cultures to learn from.
The best way to move forward is to do an activity that interests you and allows you to network. Sign up for classes, join in on a sports league, or even start up a new group of your own. Gatherings like this are great ways to introduce yourself and socialise with like-minded people.
It's important to stay comfortable and open-minded to different perspectives, so that you create lifelong connections, as well as make new friends. Living abroad is truly a huge leap in personal growth and the best way to get used to new skills and intercultural communication!
Finding employment when moving abroad
Are you considering moving abroad for a job? With foreign employment and career opportunities increasing, this is the perfect time to look into working abroad. There are many resources and job search engines available which can help you find the best working abroad programs for your experience level and aspirations. It's important to maximize these tools to get the most out of your foreign job search.
Start by networking; reach out to industry professionals or foreign contacts that could help with understanding potential employers, locations or even getting in touch with potential employers. Look up industry-specific websites; those related to international employment, foreign job postings or other foreign labor markets may be able to provide you with job leads. Finally, start connecting online; online forums, International Job Boards and foreign social media can give more information on foreign working opportunities and how they align with your skill set and location.
Use all of these resources as a guideline when looking for a job in your new country.
Yes, moving abroad can be hard sometimes, but with the right research and preparation in place, you can make sure that you are ready for the transition. Be sure to understand visa requirements for your new country, prepare for culture shock, create a realistic budget, brush up on key phrases in the local language, find ways to connect with locals and other expats in the area, and identify resources available to you when looking for work. This long-term journey of making a foreign country your home will ultimately be enriching and rewarding.
Your efforts to leave comfort behind and move abroad, will open up doors that would have remained undiscovered. By remaining organized throughout the process and having an enthusiasm for learning about the country’s history and culture all while building new relationships along with its people you are guaranteed a unique experience! So what are you waiting for? Start planning your move overseas today! And if you need help figuring out how to move all your belongings before living abroad, click here!