Want To Live As An Expat? The 3 Things You Need To Know

Charlotte Miller

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Want To Live As An Expat? The 3 Things You Need To Know

One of the most enriching experiences you can have is to work abroad. Living in another country with another culture is a way to broaden your horizons and learn more about the world while also learning more about yourself. If you are ever given the chance at an international transfer through your work, you should definitely take it.

There are many other ways to move to another country to work, of course. It is not easy, however, and it takes a lot of preparation to make the experience go smoothly. There are many differences in terms of culture, language, and bureaucracy that will have to be confronted. If you are up for the challenge then the rewards are fantastic. In this article, we will go over many of the things that you need to know before heading out on your adventure. 

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1 – You’ll need health insurance

Many countries around the world require the people living there to have health insurance. Often, these countries provide it to their residents and citizens. However, since you are there for work and not usually part of the society there right away, you will need to provide your own insurance. In fact, you are usually going to need it to get a visa to be able to enter the country. 

Something like the BCBS global coverage is something good to have until you are taken care of by your job or are able to get on the public system. Every country has its own system and rules regarding who can be on the public one or not. In some cases, even if you are able to get placed on the public system, it is best to go with private insurance. Some countries don’t have the infrastructure for a healthcare system that is going to be on par with developed countries.

Make sure that the policy you pick exceeds the minimum required by that country so you can avoid any problems getting a visa and will always be covered when you need it. In fact, look into coverage like emergency evacuation in case of an emergency. This could be health-related but also in case of a natural disaster or war.  Things can be unpredictable in other countries so it’s best to be prepared no matter what.

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2 – Research the visa

One of the most confusing parts of the process to move abroad is going to be regarding the visa. In many countries, you will need a visa to arrive and be able to stay there even for a limited time. For some, a tourist visa will be enough to come and look for a job. Others allow only tourism and another type of visa must be applied for to be able to become a jobseeker. 

To be able to work in a country you will need a work visa in which a company is going to sponsor you and do the paperwork to give you the right to work in the country. It is a complex and time-consuming process. Your best bet is to stick with countries that have a system in place for foreign workers to come and work. This will make for a much smoother process and will more than likely result in your getting a job quickly and being allowed to stay without issues. 

Make sure to put a lot of time into the research so you understand what you need to do. If you aren’t finding clear information online then it pays to send an email to the consulate of the country in question and ask them what is required to get a job in their country. 

3 – Be ready for culture shock

You already know that things are going to be different in your new country as that is one of the primary reasons for being there. The problem is that you aren’t ready for what ways things will be different so you can’t really prepare ahead of time. There will be ways that the locals do things that simply won’t make sense to you. 

Culture shock can be fun or it can be frustrating. Which way it goes usually depends on you and your approach to life and a sense of adventure. This is going to be part of the learning experience. However, you will definitely have moments of frustration when things don’t go well and you can’t seem to break through with some of the ways that things are done. 

Bureaucracy is the biggest shock to the system to many Americans that are used to very little paperwork to get things done. In many other countries, there is a lot of red tape for even the simplest of matters. It is going to be a challenge to find ways to deal with the culture shock.