Following on from our article on settling in to your new home as an expat, it would be wise to examine some of the mistakes people can make, mistakes that hinder their transition from foreign worker to fully-fledged expat.
Many expats do not have the time to meticulously plan their new life, many use their wits to adapt to foreign life when they get there. A recent report found that expats, by and large, are a resourceful bunch, it takes a certain amount of courage and confidence in one’s abilities to leave the comfort zone of your home country. However, a bit of advice never goes amiss and with that in mind let us took a look at some of the mistakes expats can make when attempting to integrate themselves into a new country.
Some of the people who may encounter difficulty integrating are people who work for a large multinational company. This is because they may find themselves somewhat isolated from the actual cultures of their new country. For instance, if you travel abroad to work for the foreign branch of a British company then you may have limited exposure to local people, for this reason you should make more effort outside of work hours.
Acknowledging the difficulty of adapting and making more effort is the key point. It is not uncommon for expats to become withdrawn if they struggle to meet people, creating a vicious circle of loneliness, the less people you know the less enthused you are about going out. So before you embark on your journey perhaps do some research into some of the activities you could take up in your leisure time, then, when you get to your new country you could meet people with similar interests.
Another potential stumbling block for successful integration is where you actually live. Many expats often travel to other countries and take up residence in special expat compounds that exclusively house foreign workers. Now whilst this may seem like an ideal scenario it may actually hinder your integration. Living in a tiny pocket of Britain in a foreign country may leave you in a sort of limbo, neither at home nor away. That’s why it’s important to plan your living arrangements carefully, think about what you want from your move; if you are happy mixing with fellow expats and fellow expats only then stick with the compounds, but if you want to really get to know your new home, perhaps look for somewhere more ingrained into the local community.