Moving to a new country has never been easier, with foreign assignments often snapped up by eager employees.
There is much support available to assignees and their families when moving to a new country for work. However some of the best advice comes from those who have experienced global relocation first hand. Assignees and expats offer some great advice for those embracing international relocation.
Every assignee is an individual and their relocation experience will be unique to them. Regardless of location, job role, personal circumstances or profile, these tips form valuable advice:
1. Keeping in touch: timing is everything.
Moving to a new country can often involve a different time zone to where your family and friends are living. Whilst it’s exciting to explore new places and meet new people, be sure to make time for keeping in touch with those back home. They offer great support whilst you’re adapting to your new life… and appreciate knowing that you’re ok and having fun!
2. Get involved
Many countries have a strong expat community and it’s easy to really on the familiarity that this offers. However really embracing the culture and customs of your new location can help you feel part of your new country far quicker than dwelling in the comfort of ‘home from home’ life.
Madeline moved from Canada to London. She told Huffington Post: “Getting my head around the difference in how people speak – their vocabulary, but also syntax – was challenging. Getting accustomed to pub etiquette and knowing how to navigate a roundabout, were a few small hurdles as well. I have found that people appreciate when you try and absorb their way of doing things: observe and then imitate.”
3. Give it time
It’s normal to feel a little scared and alone when you first move to a new country, even if you take your family with you.
Most expats say that it takes two years before you know a place and can settle. Often assignees place extra, unfair pressure upon themselves by expecting to feel at home quickly. Susan is a South African expat living in the UK. She advises expats: “Put yourself out there and try new things so that you meet new and interesting people.”
4. Be positive
Ultimately, if you choose to move to a different country for a work opportunity, you have to face many challenges. Being positive and willing to try – as well as willing to let some things go – are extremely important.
Louise Chilcott, Global Move Specialist at BTR International knows that a range of support services are needed by global assignees. “Every person is individual and their move is unique to them. The range of support services needed when they reach their new location is influenced by a number of factors. We strive to offer a comprehensive range that can be adapted for each person’s needs. It’s crucial that their move should be as stress-free as possible and that they settle into their new life quickly.”
Are you managing international assignments or relocating to a new role in a different country? Contact Louise via firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0) 1582 495495 for an initial discussion without obligation.