Living Abroad

 

The circumstances surrounding the decision to relocate vary widely by individual – political upheaval, concerns for safety or personal freedoms, the desire to start over somewhere new, or even the opportunity to expand one’s career. Each of these scenarios can influence the standard of living that can be expected for an expat, and each carries its own set of challenges and rewards.

First things first, you have to know what to do to settle in your new home. No matter the circumstances surrounding an individual or a family’s decision to leave their homeland, there are aspects to relocation that are universal and can affect the living standards to be expected regardless of destination. While it may not always be possible, extensive planning for relocation will have a dramatic impact on the success or failure of this major life decision. Plenty of advanced research into the country you intend to settle can aid you in making the appropriate provisions and arrangements for your arrival and subsequent settlement.

Always bear in mind that certain challenges are to be expected no matter how small or drastic your change in scenery. A new country means a new culture, with different standards regarding behavior, custom, commerce and propriety. Depending on your intended destination, these differences may not seem as dramatic. For instance, moving from Ireland to England may not require the need to adapt as dramatically as moving from the United States to India. Consider how prepared you are to make such changes when deciding where to begin your new life abroad.

The standard of living faced by many expats can be determined based on the level of preparation and forethought put into the process. Naturally, an individual or family that has saved their money, researched the new culture extensively and made living and transportation accommodations in advance can expect to experience a higher standard of living than a person who took for granted their ability to adapt to a new lifestyle and culture.

Another factor that influences an expat’s standard of living is the view of that individual’s homeland by his new countrymen. Take, for instance, the current attitude of many Middle Eastern countries toward the US and Great Britain. Political and military influence, as well as religious differences, can all impact the reception an expat can expect in his new country. The ongoing conflict in the Middle East, combined with a drastic difference in cultures, could potentially make settlement and integration difficult for an expat from a Western culture.

Give careful consideration to every aspect of your new life when planning to relocate internationally. Of course, there may be instances where intricate planning may not be possible (a sudden work reassignment or fleeing from political persecution), but taking even a little extra time to learn the details can make a large difference in the overall experience of being an expatriate. So, while each situation is different, making the extra effort to learn about your new home and plan accordingly can improve you overall standard of living abroad.

 

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Living in Vietnam