3 Massive Challenges to Face as an Expat

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Most of us have this dream country in our mind where we wish to one day go and live. However, we too often idealize this destination and don't really look at the challenges we will have to face, we fall in the famous trap: "Neighbor's grass is always greener "
 
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1-Are you an expat or an immigrant?

To this question most people will obviously choose the first option however, you are not the one choosing!

From my personal experience, 2 elements are extremely important: the country where you are from then your language skills.

Your home country economic situation versus the country where you want to go will play its importance, based on that local people can have a positive or negative opinion whether they know you or not. I have been personally called both in the last couple of years without really understanding the difference back then.

Language skills; when you choose to move in a country where your mother tongue is not the official language, will be a crucial element as well, therefore the better your language abilities improve the more people will start to look at you differently.

During my 2 years in Australia, I noticed how much the hostility and negative comments around me changed from the first couple of months where I couldn't speak any English to the day I left with a fluency level. My interactions, connections with native English speaker had reached a new level unexpected when I first arrived.

I found an article pretty useful explaining the linguistic difference between being an expat and being an immigrant, you can have a look at it here

2- Type of Visa you Hold

The type of Visa you hold as its importance, it can affect you in a positive or a negative way. Especially when it comes to moving into a first world country!

Depending on the country where you choose to go you will have various options such as student visa, working holiday visa, sponsorship, skilled visa...

However, the job market can be a real challenge in order to get the right visa. Based on your Education background and the chosen country. For instance, in my case to get a skilled visa or sponsorship in Australia with my Construction background is quite easy but it is impossible in China.

This is a real challenge for me who has always dreamed to study eastern cultures and languages despite the unfavorable job market. Luckily I came across not long ago an online education platform which allows me to work from home while I study in China SFM.

3-Adapt to a New Culture

The last but not the least massive challenge I had to face a couple of times. The language is not the only barrier you will have to overcome, cultural differences do exist so take the time to observe your new environment then make necessary changes if needed in order to improve the quality of your interactions with locals.

I have noticed after years away from home how much it is important to be knowledgeable about the new place where you chose to settle. By having an understanding of cultural differences and respecting their traditions you will earn the local population's respect.

It is often easier said than done, indeed the cultural differences can be quite big even something as simple as humor can be tricky. It took me nearly 2 years to understand British humor and I am still learning about the Chinese one.

I will close this blog by adding that despite all those challenges that you will have to face, live as an expat and constantly learning about new languages and cultures is the most valuable experience I had in my life. So don't let any obstacles coming into your way to stop your desire to learn about the world.


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Gab Doy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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