I’m an Expat… Get Me Out of Here!

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Moving overseas to live and work can be an exciting time, but expats can find themselves facing a number of issues that will make or break them quickly, here are the most common challenges according to the survey.

Loneliness:

Leaving your friends and family behind can be difficult, facing new challenges on your own can be overwhelming. This is the biggest challenge for expats according to NowCompare and it is the main reason people will end up returning to their home country.

This is not only the case for single travelers but also for those who are moving overseas with a spouse or partner that is unable to work in the new location.

Statistics show that this can cause a dramatic increase in the number of people suffering from depression and or physical illness but it doesn’t have to be this way. Making friends is not always easy but it is important to remember that there are others in the same situation and newcomers to the expat life will be able to join social groups and clubs when they arrive overseas.

Cross-Cultural Communication:

Language barriers and cultural differences can be a cause of much frustration. It is quite often the case that expats celebrate these in the initial stages of living overseas, however, once the honeymoon period is over and it is back to a normal everyday lifestyle, these can become quite challenging.

It is the simple things like buying a telephone, setting up a bank account or even discussing matters with local service providers that can become complex, time consuming activities. And as time goes by the cultural views, personalities and the ways in which things “just are” can start to gnaw away at the nerves of an expat.

Home Comforts:

Everybody has that “thing they do”, whether it’s a television program they watch, a bar they go to, a sports team they support or a specific brand they like to treat themselves too every once in a while.

As an expat, it is likely that at least one of those “things” if not all will be unavailable to them whilst overseas. Inevitably expatriates will develop new habits as they immerse themselves into their new environment, however, nostalgia will set in and the home comforts will be seen as “the good old days”.

It is said that expats go through a number of stages of cultural integration from fascination to frustration to acceptance before ultimately returning home. Today, 90% of expats will return home within seven years of their initial arrival; it is how they progress through these stages and how they engage with the cultural differences that will ultimately determine their experience.

NowCompare, the expat insurance website has carried out a survey of the challenges expatriates face once they have reached their destination. For more information, please visit : https://www.nowcompare.com

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