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Six good reasons to move abroad

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Published 2 weeks ago

Moving abroad is something that many have considered, but perhaps with a tad of hesitation as it is a big decision to make with plenty of repercussions. There are of course many sides to expatriation, with a lot of pros to consider. Below are six reasons to help you get started.

Get out of your comfort zone

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Moving abroad can be a real challenge, especially if you're doing it alone. However, you don't have to wait till you get there for the journey to start. There are obviously many misconceptions about expatriation but there's more to it than just leaving your job, booking your tickets, packing your bags and boarding your flight. In general, there are so many formalities to take care of that will test your patience and determination.

Starting a new life abroad – away from your friends and family and sometimes your furry four-legged best friend – and having to find a new job, new home, not to mention adapting to a new environment and making new friends, can be a real challenge. Regardless of your age however, this could be one of the best experiences you will ever have, allowing you to realise your potential to the fullest by teaching you to be independent, courageous, and perseverant.

You're probably wondering whether you will be able to survive in a country where you're familiar neither with the people nor with the culture. Of course you will! You only have to be motivated enough and trust your instincts. Accept the challenge, keeping in mind that even bad days don't last forever and everything is going to be alright in the end. Unlike tourists, this will be an opportunity for you to truly experience the culture, live as a local, and get a better glimpse of the country and its traditions.

Boost your career

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Today, global mobility is a trend that is not likely to fade away. International experience is thus, with a doubt, something that can only enhance your CV and add to your success. Many countries in Europe, North America, and even in Asia are continuously looking for foreign expertise. Why not try your luck abroad if you feel you have the skills required in a particular field, even if you're moving away from home for the first time?

Career opportunities have been attracting students and professionnals to many countries such as Germany, the United Kingdom, the USA, Canada, and even Japan and Hong Kong in large numbers. Keep in mind that despite some initial cultural shock and an adaptation period, having an international experience can be very rewarding in the long run, whether you choose to go back to your home country or look for more opportunities abroad.

Be more open-minded

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You're very likely to experience culture shock on your arrival in your host country. But isn't that part of the amazing adventure of moving somewhere new and different? Discovering new cultures, lifestyles, and traditions are an undeniable part of the expat life. For example, you may be surprised by strangers greeting you in the street or having your neighbours invite you over for a drink, where in your home country neighbours prefer to ignore each other when they inadvertently cross paths. In some countries such as in Japan, you might be surprised to see people removing their shoes before entering a house while in some Middle-Eastern countries, kissing in public is illegal.

You have probably heard about these customs but it takes a great deal of open-mindedness to face them in reality. Living abroad can help you become more tolerant and respectful of other cultures and beliefs. What you have known in your home country is not necessarily the norm, and that's not a bad thing. If some customs or traditions seem strange to you, you can always inquire with the local people around you – which is part of the learning and adaptation process, and you can even make new friends this way.

Learn new languages

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There are different ways to learn foreign languages such as through languages courses, personal tutors, or elearning. Alternatively, living abroad can be a really good way to improve your language skills whilst discovering new cultures. Learning a new language is best done in the country where everyone else speaks it, thus completely immersing you in the language. Exchanging conversations with people around you can help you not only understand the variants but also pick up a few local expressions that may be useful in the long run.

In all cases, learning foreign languages is essential especially since some countries have more than one official language. It will also ease your interactions with people around you, whether at your workplace or at the local market. Bilingualism is nowadays a key asset for international students and professionals, so make sure to update your CV to add your language skills.

Make new friends

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It's always hard to leave one's friends and family when the time has come to start afresh but have you ever thought about all the interesting people you're likely to meet once you've settled abroad? Going out with your collegues after working hours can be a good start. Once you have a daily routine, everything becomes easier and much more pleasant. People you usually come across often such as at the park during your daily jog start waving “hello”; the waiter at your favourite coffee shop already knows your favourite order; one of your colleagues invites you over for dinner with their family while another one introduces you to some friends with whom you're already planning your next trip, etc.

If you're an introvert, now is the time to take the opportunity to break free from your shell and challenge yourself. Go out, meet people, share a coffee or a drink, accept invitations to conferences or cultural events. Developing an international social network can be useful both during during your stay and when you're back to your home country.

Travel and discover new places

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Whether you have moved abroad for work, studies, or you have retired, spending time at home is probably not part of your plans. Your host country will have a lot to offer, so take some time to explore its cultural and historical heritage. Nature lovers always know where to head to, but if you're more the urban type, museums, art galleries, exhibitions, or historical monuments can be a great way to get started.

Have you thought about traveling and seeing more of your new home and its surroundings? Many expats often take the opportunity to explore their host country and some lucky ones even get to visit neighbouring countries over a weekend.

We hope to have given you some insight about the benefits of moving abroad. Feel free to share your experience or ideas by posting a comment below.

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