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Life of an Expat - 7 Hard Things You'll Face Abroad

Life of an Expat - 7 Hard Things You'll Face Abroad

22 Aug 2022


Being an expat differs from being a tourist. Living in foreign countries with unfamiliar faces can present many challenges to an expat or global nomad, particularly those who have left behind the luxury of family support and a convenient lifestyle. 

The challenges you face while living abroad, like finding healthcare, the best international money transfer services, and housing, can make life difficult no matter how mentally strong you are. Everybody believes that they will not experience culture shocks, but they are inevitable to everyone and can create several hurdles while living in a non-native land.

Some challenging obstacles will take time and effort to overcome. Living abroad can be an enjoyable experience that you will remember for the rest of your life if you deal with the issues with tenacity and determination. Here are the top seven hard things for expats that they may face during their time abroad.

Challenges Faced By Expats

The difficulties may be severe or minor, depending on where you have relocated. Depending on your personality and situation, adjusting to your new job may take some time. Don't worry; it's natural to feel overwhelmed when so many things change at once. One of the significant challenges is to find the cheapest way to transfer money internationally.

And keep in mind that you are not alone in your struggles. It’s essential to be aware of some of the most common issues expatriates face. Let’s briefly look at these challenges.

Concerns About Future Financial Situations

Tensions about the future of your finances can dampen your mood and desire to settle in a foreign country. Before embarking on an expat lifestyle, you must carefully plan your financial future. Maintaining a secure bank balance will assist you in living a stress-free expat life. 

If you are still unprepared, it is best to reconsider your strategy and make a move when you have enough resources for those rainy days. Anxiety about the future of your finances will get you nowhere. 

Whether you're managing your bed and breakfast in rural Italy or doing digital work in Cambodia, it is different to make sure it pays for your expat lifestyle. You'll have to work harder and may not be able to work a 9-5 job like everyone else. It also depends on the type of expat life you choose. 

Living in different scenic backdrops may be a dream for some, but it must be sustainable whatever path you choose to take. If you are an expatriate, ensure you have adequate life and disability insurance and use ACE for your international money transfers.

Insufficient Personal Support

Leaving friends and family behind for greener pastures can be a curse. If you are relocating abroad, you must take the initiative to share news, stay in touch, and ask your loved ones for emotional support. 

Even social networking cannot replace one-on-one interactions with people who truly matter in today's fast-paced world. Regardless of the distance, messenger services such as Viber, WhatsApp, and Skype can be used to spend quality time with those you care about. Nonetheless, one of the most difficult challenges for expatriates is being separated from friends and family.

Expats care about themselves and their families, and they always look for the best way to transfer money internationally to support their loved ones.

Understanding Different Cultures and Customs

If you are relocating to a country rich in culture, you may encounter strict and unique customs. Learning and sticking to those cultures and traditions may appear unnecessary, but learning to adapt is integral to becoming an expat in a foreign country. 

It also ensures that your expat experience lasts a desirable period. Don't expect local businesses to accommodate your working style as an expat. Understanding a new business culture can be difficult for an expat. It is always preferable to be adaptable and to keep an open mind. 

Instead of being judgmental, learn to make the best decisions for your company—request assistance from people in your network in establishing your business in a specific location.

For example, an expat employee in China should know that the local population is superstitious and assigns meaning to many things. In Western countries such as the United States, a white rose represents innocence and purity while reflecting deaths and is used in funerals in China.

Relationship Building Can Be Difficult

Expats are prone to be momentary, and it's easy to feel lonely when you don't stay in one place long enough to form lasting friendships.

The first few weeks in a new place are usually the most difficult. However, it can also be one of the most exciting times in one's life. For many reasons, living overseas without a companion might be challenging. As a single person, you may be free to do anything you want, but you will undoubtedly feel lonely at some point.

Everyone requires someone with whom they can share their deepest emotions. Finding the right person to build a long-term relationship with may be difficult if you are a career woman or man new to a city or country. You'll have to play the waiting game to see if you're lucky enough to find the right person for a good relationship.

Look for events and activities that you're interested in. Try to form bonds with people who share a common interest with you. Don't be afraid to try new things; you might discover a new passion or hobby.

Language Barriers

Language difficulties are the most common issues that expatriates face. If you move to a country where you don't speak the native language, you may face difficulties from the moment you arrive. Countries such as Italy are well-known for speaking only Italian.

If you don't know the language basics, communicating with cab drivers to get to your new home, discussing rentals with landlords, and asking financial institutions about the best way to transfer money internationally can all be frustrating.

Download a language app, sign up for a class, or practise with co-workers and friends. The more you use the language in everyday situations, the easier it will be to learn. Regular practice is essential for quickly and efficiently learn a new language.

Housing Concerns

Housing issues are major challenges for expatriates. Finding a home is a stressful experience even in your own country, so imagine how difficult it would be to do so in a foreign country. Some digital nomads and self-employed expats may relocate to a temporary residence closer to public transportation or their workplace. 

In many cases, they may be dealing with crumbling walls, leaking water pipes, and faulty repairs. Before moving abroad, it is good to research and look at local rental listings. If you are relocating to another country for work, your employer may arrange and pay for your housing.

Be especially cautious; every country has its fair share of people eager to take advantage of foreigners who may be unaware of their rights. Make sure to look around; don't settle for the first place you see and end up in an unpleasant situation.

Ask your colleagues for recommendations and look for resources to figure out a solution. Even if you want to buy a house, renting is usually a better idea until you've worked out a solid plan.

Having Healthcare Benefits

Living abroad also presents the challenge of navigating the local healthcare system. Expats will need to consider two major issues: First and foremost, does the country have an adequate public healthcare system? You essentially require high-quality care with short wait times.

Second, do expats receive the same level of care as natives? Even if the answer is yes for both, which is rare, there may be a language barrier.

This problem has a simple solution – a private health insurance plan. While many expats may have a group health insurance plan through their employer, it may not be comprehensive enough.

That is why expats are strongly advised to secure their health insurance plan – notably an international health insurance plan compatible with the expat lifestyle.

"Being an expat has both advantages and disadvantages. There is no doubt that being a new expat can be highly stressful. However, do not let anxiety and stress get the best of you. Being properly ready to confront many expatriate obstacles from the beginning will allow you to face these challenges with a clear mind. Besides, you can solve a critical problem when you send money back home using ACE’s international money transfer app.

Final Thoughts 

A positive attitude is essential for making the most of every moment as an expat. If you take the proper steps, your time as an expatriate could be very fruitful. Allow yourself some time to adjust to a new culture. 

If you embrace your discomfort and face your problems head-on, you'll be up and running. When you realise your dream of living abroad and when you're willing to put yourself out there – overcome your fears. 

And if, as an expat, you are looking for the cheapest way to transfer money internationally, signup now by choosing ACE Money Transfer. 


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