Thousands of people move abroad each year, be it for work, love, or just to get a change of scenery. All these people are considered expatriates. Before you yourself decide to venture out to newer shores, make sure that you have what it takes for a successful move overseas. It is never easy to begin a new life in a completely different setting with a culture that is perhaps very different than your own.
So What Is an Expat Anyway?
By definition, an expat is someone who willingly chooses to leave their home country and move to a foreign one. Most people who opt for expatriation have some sort of interest in international affairs or other cultures and use this to their advantage when going overseas. There are those who are sent abroad for a particular period of time to complete a work assignment. They fit the most tradition model of expatriation, whereas the “self-made expat” is the person who searches for a new job abroad without the aid of their current company, or decides to open a business or work as a freelancer in another country. Despite the multitude of reasons why someone may choose to move abroad, there are some factors most expats have in common. In general, they usually have a higher academic degree, some sort of specialty, or a well-paying international job. Ideally speaking, they should also bring the open-mindedness required to adjust to and flourish in a foreign culture.
Having the Right Attitude for Expatriation
In addition to ticking off the items on the practical checklist for your trip, it is just as, if not more, important to be mentally prepared for your move. When it comes to expatriation, your attitude is everything. Regardless of whether you are a self-made expat, or a traditional one, moving overseas can be extremely taxing on the nerves. The upside for self-made expatriates is that they chose their destination, perhaps enabling them to start out with more euphoria than traditional assignees sent by their company. Ask yourself whether or not you have what it takes to begin a new life abroad. And be honest with yourself! If you shy away from changes and potentially awkward situations, perhaps you should rethink your decision to relocate overseas. Yet, if you love new situations, meet new people easily and can’t wait to leave your humdrum life behind you, then expatriation is absolutely the right choice for you! Just be sure that you are really aware of the difficulties you will most likely face while living abroad and know that, with a little patience and support from friends and other expatriates, you will surely overcome them.