5 challenges expats face

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Sarah Peddie

Five Expatriate Worker Challenges

Making the decision to move overseas to start a new job is possibly one of the biggest moments in someone’s life. Despite having all the excitement around moving abroad, some expats might have a few concerns living in a new country.

On one hand moving overseas can offer world-leading salaries, a luxurious standard of living and some of the planet’s most impressive medical facilities. Depending on where you move, the culture can be very different and worries over that big lifestyle change play a major role in many people deciding not to make a move.

There may be many challenges that expats face when moving abroad but there are ways that you can overcome them. 

Missing family and friends

It can be really hard for people to leave behind their friends and family when moving abroad to start their new career. Make sure that you take the initiative of sharing news, keeping in touch and asking your loved ones for mental support. It can be hard - especially if you are in different time zones but make sure you keep in touch. 

Despite the distance, you can use apps like WhatsApp and Skype to enjoy some face-to-face time to catch up and chat to your loved ones.

Worried about finances

Worrying about your future finances can really dampen your mood and maybe put you off moving overseas. Make sure you plan your future finances well in advance of moving to your destination - if you already have a job set up then calculate your salary with all your living expenses such as rent, food and anything else you spend money on every month.

If you are an expat then make sure that you have adequate life insurance coverage for when you move overseas.

Adjusting to the business culture

The business culture could be completely different from where you are currently based to the place where you are moving to - so don’t expect your style of working to fit in straight away. 

It can be quite challenging to understand and learn but you should always keep an open mind and be flexible. 

Working hours and days could be completely different in the country you are going to work in so make sure you do your research for the information you need about that.

Making new friends

The thought of being alone in a completely new country can be terrifying and many expats might be worried about making friends in their new destination. It’s not very easy making new friends for expats as many people move to destinations for a couple of years and then move on again. 

Even if this is the case, it doesn’t mean that you have to hold back. Be on the lookout for any expat clubs to join and meet people who are in exactly the same place as yourself. Also, socialise with your new co-workers and make some new connections there. 

Language barriers 

One of the most common challenges that expats face is moving to a place where English is not widely spoken which makes communicating with locals difficult.


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Learning some key phrases of the language before you head over to your destination could really help. There are many online language learning tools to help you if you don’t want to hire a tutor to learn. 

You must remember that culture shock is only temporary and everything will eventually become routine and part of your everyday life.

If you are thinking about moving abroad for your dream job then register with Odyssey Recruitment to start your journey today.