Moving to a new country is one of the most exhilarating and challenging tasks you will ever undertake. While many aspects of a new beginning are amazing, others can leave you feeling overwhelmed and lost. No matter where you are moving or what your reasons for moving are there are bound to be a few hurdles to overcome. Of the many challenges faced by expats there are 5, in particular, that stand out:
Unless you are moving to a place where you already are fluent in the language, chances are you are going to need to learn the language upon moving and will face a language barrier. The task of learning a foreign language can feel monumental. Keep in mind that it takes time and try to practice every day. Even if you do not have a lot of time to dedicate to studying even just a few minutes can make a huge difference. There are lots of Apps that can make it easy to practice as most people have their phones with them all the time. Anytime you catch yourself waiting in a line or bored you can practice your language learning on the App. An advantage of learning a language in a foreign country is the ability to practice it. Try to use what you know when going about your daily life. Repetition is key to learning a new language quickly and efficiently.
Managing finances can become very complicated as an expatriate both in the short term and the long term. In the short term, it can be hard to figure out local bank accounts, work and paying for all of the upfront costs of moving to another country. Transferring money internationally is often necessary. Fortunately, there are lots of reliable options available when you need to transfer money. One such option is the Ria Money transfer which allows you to send money anywhere in the world without any hassle. So no matter which part of the world you work in, you can always cheer up your friends and loved ones by transferring cash that too at a very low cost.
In the long term, most expatriates face challenges with international taxes, benefits, retirement accounts as well as local banking. Access to pensions and other investment schemes can be interrupted or diminished when working or living abroad for longer periods of time.
Some expats are lucky enough to have housing sorted out for them ahead of time whether it be through an employer or a friend they know who already lives in the country they are relocating to. For the majority, finding housing is something they have to sort out on their own. As an expat, you are less likely to be familiar with which neighbourhoods to rent in, how much you should expect to pay and what to look out for. Depending on the country, you may have to deal with poorer building standards, higher break-in rates and language barriers with your landlord. Research is the best tool for making sure you do not get overcharged; end up renting in a risky area or finding an ideal flatmate. Reaching out in forums such as local Facebook groups is a great way to get a feel for the local community.
Earning a living is a different journey for each expat. Many expats have relocated specifically because of work while others are moving for love or to pursue their passions in another country. In our increasingly online world, many people are able to earn a living by working remotely from the location of their choice. Finding work in a foreign country can be challenging. Even if you are able to find a job quickly, it may not pay as much as you would make in your native country. Many expats start their own businesses such as running bed and breakfast or opening a tour company. Whatever the path you choose, research will be your best tool for getting an idea as to what you should expect in terms of local wages, job availability and the process for obtaining a work permit or opening a business.
The first few weeks in a new country can be the most challenging socially. However, there are many aspects of being an expat that remain socially challenging even after you have lived there for quite some time. Expats tend to be more transient and while you may find a community of expats you may find that people do not stay in one place long enough to form any lasting friendships. This can lead to feelings of isolation that extend beyond the initial feeling of being new in a foreign country.
At times you may feel overwhelmed by all of the details that come with moving to another country. Rest assured that you are not alone. Moving to a new country is a huge opportunity for personal growth. Over time you will find solutions to the problems you face and find yourself becoming more established.