Every year, thousands of people quit their jobs, pack their bags, and move abroad. Living the life of an expatriate is certainly the road less travelled. It could either turn out the one step in the right direction or the one in the wrong direction – depending of course on how well you prepare yourself or take proactive steps. Here are a few things you need to know to make the experience less frustrating.
Do a Background Research
The first thing you will want to do even before you take the flight is some research. It’s necessary and important to do a little digging about the country you intend to live in. For instance, it is an offense to drink or act in a manner likely to suggest that you are under the influence of alcohol in public in the (UAE). It means you will be looking at rules, culture, and ethics among other issues.
Research in this case would help avoid committing any blunders that would cost you friendship and good relations both at a personal level and at work. One of the first places you’ll need to check out is the website of your country as well as that of the host country. It is a good place to find information on services specific to the country such as vaccinations and medication.
Seek Consent for a Pre-Visit
Accommodation is another area you’ll want to look into ahead of your travel. It may not be enough to simply do research in this case. That is why if it’s possible, you may want to ask your employer to allow you do a reconnaissance of the country. This would allow you check out different places where you are likely to find a house or home. You would also know quite a bit of the life in that area.
Living far from town and people you know can be quite troublesome when settling down abroad. This is because you may not have known already your way around the city nor any significant people for that matter. Ensure healthcare facilities, stores and supermarkets are not too far from your home. Later you could move out to a quieter location once you are familiar with the place.
Consult With Your Family
The other thing you will want to do before you make the decision to fly over to that other country is consult with family members. It’s right and appropriate in the sense that when there’s goodwill then you will not have to worry about anyone of them destroying your properties back home or rather doing harm to your children. And this will help you focus on whatever it is you are doing.
Learn the Native Language
Now that you’ve made all those considerations and perhaps are already finding your way around your new country as an expatriate, you’ll need to learn the language. This does not mean that you become fluent in the other language. It should help you get way around your daily needs without having someone to always do the interpretation for you. You’ll need to start with common phrases.
You may want to consider integrating with the locals if you want to learn their language a bit faster. It is okay usually to skip out on friends and social gatherings and live alone quietly. The problem with this, however, is that you may not know the area well enough. You would understand that it’s a good way to network both with locals and expats. It is also a good thing to connect with others.
If you’ve always been dependent on someone, say your parents, spouse and or siblings then you may need to find some sought of independence. The truth is that it may be a lot more difficult for you if you have to depend on someone for your stay and expenses in a new country. It is simply good and proper also to learn to do some things yourself e.g: lighting and gas, recipes and washing.
Other things you need to know to make your experience better as an expat include: being realistic about your goals and expectations, being adaptable to your new environment, and doing whatever it is you can to avoid homesickness because this would easily affect your work. Being adaptable here means knowing that you’re no longer in your home and you have to adapt to what is available.