This article looks at who decides to move abroad and why, what it can offer and how to go about it. It also looks at when to call it a day, and how to avoid facing financial and emotional ruin in a foreign country.
Moving for work
Often, moving work is unavoidable. Perhaps your firm is relocating or you have been offered a post abroad. Sometimes, you might be asked to move temporarily for a fixed term contract although sometimes, you may be moving permanently and starting a fresh in a new country. Either way, there is a lot to take in and consider. Of course, it’s not only professionals who have been offered work abroad who are moving away. Young and old often choose to spend some time abroad to either enhance their career prospects, learn new skills and enjoy experiences or perhaps simply to enjoy a warmer climate and a relaxed way of life later in life. Moving with a job is often the easiest way to experience a new life abroad as your company is most likely to spend time and money in creating a relocation package, creating a comfortable transition. Similarly, as a skilled professional looking for work abroad you may be offered competitive pay, housing and visa assistance in a country where your expertise is highly sought after. Don’t forget though, many companies also require graduate calibre individuals to work in global offices overseas as well as many countries offering interesting packages to entice general workers to live and work in their country.
Moving for an experience
Moving abroad simply for the life experience and cultural benefits is a perfectly plausible reason for moving abroad. You may just want to experience the sun and seas of Spain, or perhaps you want to do something a little more unique such as volunteering in an orphanage or using professional skills in developing countries. All will offer you unrivalled experiences and a once in a lifetime opportunity whilst enjoying the thrill of moving away from home. Many companies offer schemes and programmes for working abroad and although the majority require a fee, they’re open to all ages and abilities. From leisure and hospitality roles in Canada and Australia, digital and IT roles in Europe to the more extreme such as Au Pair in the USA or ski instructor resorts in the Alps. The possibilities are endless, you can develop your career, start out and gain competitive skills or simply try something completely new and appealing.
When to come home
For whatever reason that brought you to a new country, it’s also important to know when to move home, especially if you don’t have safety net of a corporate programme or fixed term contract. Many expatriates enjoy a foreign lifestyle so much they struggle to know when to call it a day. Finances may be in a mess, unemployment could be seriously affecting the country, natural disasters may be coming more and more frequent or simple, people are ignoring the home sickness which is making them unhappy. Before you become completely in peril, come home, even if for a few weeks. Obviously, the appeal and exoticism of moving abroad will start to fade after a few months and years, but there’s a difference between getting comfortable in a country and becoming affected by the general day to day ups and downs, and more serious issues such as financial and emotional hardship. If you’re facing these, you should book a flight to your home country, for a few weeks and you can even book a return. Whilst you’re away you’ll be able to think with a clear head and come to a rationalised decision on what to do next.