Changing jobs and moving to another country can be difficult; there are both good and challenging adjustments to prepare for. By taking the time to research and plan out your move, the transition will be smoother and will be less stressful for everyone involved.
Changes to Consider
A new location will be different, perhaps in more ways than one:
- Language Barriers
- Clothing and Fashion
Researching an area is easy with Google and talking with locals on social network sites and groups. You’ll find that common advice includes “don’t look too American” or “learn at least some of the native language.”
Blending in (at least in part) will be important in most countries for a successful move and foreign relationship building. In a nation where the primary language is English (like Australia or England), Americans will not have to learn a new language, but will still have to become familiarized with the local slang and figures of speech.
Pros and Cons
New and Exciting
A new country will be full of experiences that won’t be found anywhere else. Any professional moving abroad should take full advantage of the location and spend time with the local people (not just the expatriates).
Moving to a new country will require a lot of work; learning the language, getting to know the local customs, understanding local manners and learning directions are just a few of the challenges that will be discovered in the process of international relocation.
Gaining Experience and Cultivating Potential
Learning a new language is just one of the many new experiences that living abroad offers. Forbes recently published the article “The Smart Career Move You Haven’t Considered: Working Abroad” where contributor says, “There are numerous personal and professional benefits of being bilingual. For one, people who speak more than one language tend to get paid more (as much as 20%!).” And, there are many more reasons why working abroad opens new doors to a future career path.
Loneliness and Missing Loved Ones
It is hard to move away from loved ones, and moving to a country with a different culture, language, and customs might take some getting used to. Branching out help you fit into your surroundings quickly and can help create a sense of comfort and belonging.
Meeting New People
Moving abroad offers opportunities for professionals to meet new contacts. For most business professionals, meeting new people is an important part of networking and expanding the horizon of their career.
Making the Move
Finding new housing can be one of the biggest challenges in the relocation process. Many U.S. mortgage companies do not offer international loans, so finding the right company for an international home mortgage is important. There are also different laws and processes surrounding the purchase of a home, depending on the country. In Australia, for example, if you are not an Australian citizen or permanent resident, you will likely need to gain permission from the Foreign Review Board in order to buy a home. Finding the right companies for home loans, such as State Custodians, can be a convenient and reliable way to review your options and learn more about the requirements for purchasing property.
Without a network of familiar contacts, security and emergency situations can become even more complicated than they would normally be. The State Department has a program called Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), which allows registration with the local embassy for emergency contact and additional information bulletins important for U.S. citizens in a foreign country.