Working abroad means many different things to many different people.
Whether it’s a temporary placement or working across an international company, work is global and there are opportunities available all over the world.
However, the logistics to realising these opportunities is a different story and can be an incredibly daunting prospect to some.
Settling into your new lives is a process that takes time.
From adapting to a new culture to stabilising your finances, here are five useful tips to consider when working abroad that will help you make the most of your new lifestyle.
Make buying easy with cards
Ever fluctuating exchange rates and changes in currency are really confusing and can be an additional worry for many people working abroad.
There are facilities out there that allow you to keep finances close to home while in a place that you are not familiar with.
Many UK banks will grant international usage of an existing account at an agreed exchange rate, taking away the worry of flipping between Sterling (£) and any other form of currency.
A Starling euro account card for example automatically applies an up to date exchange rate to a bank account, allowing you to transfer and send euros with no additional charges.
On a similar vein, for drivers, it may be useful to set up fuel payment cards to easily manage travel costs while abroad in one simple swipe. Fuel cards streamline an otherwise difficult task, removing the added stress of getting your fuel expenses paid back.
Fuel cards make driving in foreign countries easier by bypassing expenses and exchange rates, while also allowing business owners to monitor employee spending when working abroad. A BP fuel card, in particular, offers flexibility across many European countries, with thousands of truck stops and refueling sites across the continent.
Watch out for pesky medical bills
Those of us living and working in the UK are incredibly lucky to have the National Health Service (NHS) free at the point of use.
Many other countries, such as the USA for example, do not have a universal healthcare system to take advantage of.
It is impossible to predict when illness and injury will affect our lives. It is therefore important that those working abroad and who do not come under the NHS’s scope, invest in private health insurance so they are not hit with a huge surprise medical bill.
Equally, some countries note private medical insurance as a visa requirement, making it vital to invest in your own well being to work in another country.
Learn the language
Working abroad can be a tricky business without having a grasp of the local language.
Nobody is asking you to become completely fluent, but assuming that everyone speaks the same language is not a good look and can be isolating. Learning some key phrases at the very least can be really helpful and open up your possibilities.
Not only is speaking another language an impressive life skill, but it will also help you settle, understand and enjoy the culture you are working in.
Perhaps most significantly, speaking the language has a great practical effect on your work life, allowing you to interact with your surroundings.
For example, a transportation driver would benefit from being able to read road signs and ask for directions in order to get to their destination.
Talk to others in similar positions
Sometimes working abroad can be a lonely job, putting you outside of your comfort zone and away from home.
Therefore, it is important to look for opportunities to join communities and chat with others who have taken on similar roles.
A great place to start is Facebook, where there are tons of groups that you can join – be it ex-pats, travelers, or businessmen – you are bound to find people just like you, who will help you to settle in and start enjoying the surroundings.
Remember you are not alone, sometimes it just takes a little extra effort and with the magic of social media, even that is getting easier.
Make a bucket list
Being able to work abroad is a privilege that should not be wasted, it is an opportunity to explore something new.
It is easy to get bogged down at work, but remember there is a whole world out there to learn from. Making a bucket list is a perfect way to make sure you see everything and make the most out of the experience.
Maybe there is a lagoon you want to check out near the bay you passed or a renowned restaurant in the next town over. It is up to you, the world is yours to see.
It is also a good idea to check out some bucket list apps to so you can update your list on the go
With the pressures of work when you are abroad, it is certainly no holiday. Although, by implementing these tips from finances to bucket lists, the negatives can begin to dwell, revealing positive new experiences for you to enjoy.