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Staying Healthy And Safe While Working Abroad – Tips and Best Practices For Overseas Filipino Workers

02 Sep 2023


Venturing abroad for work can be both exciting and challenging. The thrill of exploring new cultures and opportunities combines with the uncertainty of being away from home. For Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), the journey is no different. Are you looking for tips and best practices on how to send money to Philippines from UK or some other developed country securely and stay safe while working abroad? Employers will find you more appealing, and your CV will improve if you work abroad to develop your skills or learn new ones. If you decide to work abroad, OFW Tips can help you keep up with various survival aspects. Make sure the Philippine government has your information on whether you plan to stay temporarily or move there permanently. 

You run a higher risk of getting sick and running into dangerous situations if you don't take care of yourself. Before, during, and after your study abroad experience, it's crucial to take care of your physical and mental health, and this is ultimately your responsibility.

Make sure to let the right people know what your health needs are. The program coordinators must be made aware of any medical conditions to make accommodations for you, regardless of whether you have dietary restrictions or a disability. Additionally, it's a good idea to inform your roommates about your medical conditions so that they can assist you in an emergency. Here are some tips for staying safe as a Filipino worker abroad.

Health Challenges Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) Face

Living in a foreign country exposes OFWs to unique health challenges.

Mental Health Concerns

Loneliness, homesickness, and stress from adjusting to a new environment can take a toll on one's mental well-being when living far away from loved ones.

Physical Health Risks

Changes in climate, exposure to new allergens, and potential risks from local diseases can impact physical health leading to low performance as a student or negative impacts on progress as an expat worker.

Safety Concerns When Working Abroad

Safety goes beyond just physical well-being. Here are some common concerns:

Workplace Hazards

Different countries might have varying safety regulations, exposing OFWs to unfamiliar risks. Like other developing countries, the UK also has unique and varying workplace environments adjusting to which can be challenging for new comers. Once you are settled, you can earn desirable wages and support your family regularly throug a money transfer from UK to Philippines, which is no more a difficult thing to do with the availability of trusted digital platforms.

Cultural and Social Challenges

Misunderstandings or conflicts can arise from cultural differences or language barriers since a foreign country like the UK has multicultural lifestyle. Countless migrants from different low-to-middle-income countries have come and settled in the UK leading to several cultural influences that you as an OFW must have to adjust to. It’s not primarily required that you may learn all the regional languages; you can quickly adapt to local customs in the UK if you know everyday communication in English, which is the universal source of conversing with people around you.

Essential Tips for OFWs

 

Put Your Health First

It's harder than you might imagine to prioritize your health, despite how straightforward it may seem. To maintain good health, it's crucial to get enough sleep, but jet lag can make this challenging. You might sleep more lightly in an unfamiliar environment, so bring earplugs and a sleep mask to drown out the noise. Always stay away from alcohol and caffeine, especially right before bed.

If at all possible, try to plan your travels so that they don't conflict with your workout routine. If riding your bike or going to the gym is your usual exercise, look into alternatives like jogging, hiking, or swimming. Walking in the sunshine will be good for your physical and mental health.

Get Enough Sleep Time

When adjusting to a new job and getting to know their host country, many expats may see sleep as an unnecessary luxury. However, a lack of sleep may weaken your immune system, leaving you more vulnerable to local illnesses that your immune system is unfamiliar with. Adults require seven to nine hours of sleep each night to maintain good health, according to the National Sleep Foundation. For the best possible sleep, it is also advised that they keep a regular sleeping schedule.

Get International Medical Insurance 

In many nations where the public healthcare systems may not meet Western standards, expatriates will want to use private medical care. The cost of these private facilities is typically very high, especially during emergencies. Without suitable international health insurance, expatriates may incur high medical costs, risking their financial situation. 

A comprehensive medical plan can help you maintain your and your family's health by paying for medical tests, preventative care, and covering major medical expenses. Even vaccinations and health monitoring may be a part of this. Thanks to an international health insurance plan, expats and their families will have global coverage.

It is essential for expatriates living in less developed nations with medical care facilities because it enables them to seek medical attention internationally. An international medical evacuation and repatriation service, comprehensive cancer coverage, dental and vision care, and day-patient care are all included in a global health insurance plan for expatriates who live and work abroad. That's about medical safety, and if you want financial safety, contact ACE Money Transfer and make online money transfers to Philippines from UK.

Verify Public Transportation

You won't need to worry about local transport in the town where you want to live if you have the money to buy a new or used car in the country where you are moving. When driving alone, though, you must drive very carefully to avoid accidents. A good way to stay safe is to take public transport. Putting that aside, you need to be aware of the safe routes and those with the most pickpockets. Although public transport can get you from A to B, you risk getting mugged if you don't know where you are going.

List Your Emergency Contacts

Another safety recommendation for people working abroad is to keep emergency contact information handy in case you require immediate assistance. Find out the location and contact information for the Philippine embassy by doing some research. You should look up the locations of the closest hospital, police station, and medical facilities for added security. 

Having this knowledge will put you in a better position to handle a crisis. Besides this, also look for tips for managing your bank account effectively as an overseas Filipino worker (OFW)

Safe Money Transfers for OFW

Due to their widespread presence, most online money transfer service providers, including ACE Money Transfer, have simplified online money transfers for expats. Conveniently, these provide the best international money transfer services through their mobile apps.

If you're an expat Filipino who struggles to send money to Philippines online from UK, you've found the best solution. You can quickly send money online to more than 100 countries from the comfort of your home or while traveling by using ACE Money Transfer's remittance services, which offer the best exchange rates while charging the lowest transfer fees.

Understand Your Rights

Compliance with local laws is one of the best ways to protect yourself. Some nations require sponsorship, a verified address or a confirmed job offer to ensure your right to work. Your prior criminal history, including convictions, incarceration time, and the amount of time since your arrest, may affect your travel in nations like the United States of America. 

Work with your staffing company or employer to ensure you have the proper legal documentation, such as passports, visas, and work permits. Talk to them about anything you believe may affect your ability to begin working at your new position and to be protected by the law. Read up on the legal system of the country you will be moving to before you leave. Ensure you know your rights regarding working conditions and access to legal assistance. 

Many nations operate specific Health & Safety laws, have standards for fundamental office or worksite conditions, and place limits on daily or weekly working hours to safeguard the welfare of employees. The likelihood that your employer will exploit you or that you'll land in a sticky situation will be reduced just by being aware of your legal rights.

Even though going on vacation is supposed to be an adventure, it could be wrong if you don't take precautions for your health and safety. You can enjoy your time abroad without worrying that something might sabotage this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity by conducting some research, making preparations, and maintaining good health habits.

Bottom Line 

Working abroad will undoubtedly provide you with a unique experience. You will be able to expand your networks and career. The best way to stay safe and secure is to keep in mind the safety recommendations that are covered above. Utilize the services of ACE for a safe and secure money transfer to Philippines.

FAQs

What safety precautions should you take when traveling?

  • Conduct research. 
  • Avoid making a scene. 
  • Important documents should be duplicated. 
  • Update your family and friends. 
  • Watch out when using free WiFi. 
  • Protect your hotel room. 
  • Observe your surroundings.

What are the benefits of working abroad?

This exhibits flexibility, drive, and tenacity, three qualities that recruiters and employers highly value. You will also be at a distinct advantage over other applicants who have no prior international work experience if you have it.

Is having Travel Insurance in addition to Health Insurance necessary?

Travel insurance offers extra protection for trip-related problems like trip cancellations, lost luggage, or flight delays, while health insurance only covers medical expenses. For comprehensive protection, it is advised to have both types of insurance.

What are some common diseases OFWs should be aware of when working abroad?

Depending on the country, OFWs should be informed about local diseases and get the necessary vaccinations.

How can OFWs find local Filipino communities abroad?

Social media platforms, local Filipino churches, or community centers can be great places to start.

Are there any apps specifically designed to help OFWs?

Yes, several apps cater to the needs of OFWs, from remittance platforms to community forums.

How often should OFWs communicate with their families back home?

As often as needed! Regular communication helps in feeling connected and reducing homesickness.

Is it advisable for OFWs to undergo health check-ups regularly?

Absolutely! Regular health check-ups can ensure that any potential health issues are detected early on.


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