Okay, let’s start with a definition. Do you know what an “expatriate” is?
It used to mean someone on a corporate assignment in a country other than the United States. Global companies send their team members around the globe to fill in missing skill sets, develop global leaders and create stronger corporate identities.
But with the world getting smaller, “expats” can now mean anyone who goes to another country to work. It could be for a good career move, an opportunity to be closer to friends and family or for a better quality of life.
Who Are Expats?
The stereotypical single male who transfers to an office in another country on his way up the corporate ladder is long gone. Today’s expatriate is more likely to be a woman (56% to 44% male), is in a relationship and 26% take children on their assignment. The average age is 43.5 and 83% have a college degree.
Perhaps even more surprising, fully 29% contemplate a permanent stay in their new country.
What Are the Top Locations?
Today’s expatriate can go just about anywhere. A recent survey by the consulting group InterNations showed the top three locations for expatriate assignments are Bahrain, Costa Rica, and Mexico. InterNations polled expatriates in the following five categories: Quality of Life, Ease of Settling In, Working Abroad, Family Life and Personal Finance.
Bahrain came out on top for Ease of Settling In, Costa Rica ranks in the top 10 for all 5 categories and Mexico comes in at number 3, retaking a top spot after dropping in 2016.
What’s Involved In Moving To Another Country?
If you’ve never done it, it’s difficult to recognize what goes into moving to another country for your job:
1 – You need housing.
2 – If you have a family, the children will need to attend school.
3 – You all need to learn the culture, the language, the currency, etc.
4 – You need to move or buy furniture.
5 – You need work visas, permits, etc.
We’ve been helping expatriates for over 30 years, mostly with language and cultural training. With all the items an expat has to worry about, how to do everyday tasks like ask where the grocery store is and talk to a doctor about a child’s health shouldn’t be on the list. Language training alone can mean the difference between a great expatriate assignment or several months or longer of feeling out of place.
If you’re even thinking about becoming an expatriate, let us help you start off on the right foot. We’ll find you a language training teacher so you can start to understand the language before ever leaving the United States. Or if it works better for your schedule, we’ll find you a language teacher once you arrive in your adopted country. We can even find a language teacher who specializes in teaching young children.
Techworld can also plan and present cultural training for temporary assignments or visitors from your global team. Please call us today at 1.248.288.5900 to learn more about how we can help you.