With 195 countries to choose from, the world is at your feet if you plan on living and working in a foreign country. Whether you want more opportunities or you feel like you need a change, living in another country as an immigrant unlocks so many opportunities.
However, there’s no denying it’s a complex process.
If only it were as easy as booking your tickets and packing a bag. There are so many moving parts that it can get complicated. But never let that stop you from living a borderless life and enjoying your dream job in a new destination. From any concerns you might have to the many benefits living in a foreign country has, here’s what to expect when you move abroad.
Yes, it’s very exciting to move to another country for your career, but it can be daunting too. One of the biggest things to expect is the possibility of learning a new language. If you’re lucky, you might move to a country that already speaks your language. If not, this is something you’ll have to learn — something that will also come naturally the longer you’re there.
When choosing a country, it’s a great idea to start learning the language beforehand. This will make it easy to not only speak to people as you make new friends but also communicate with your colleagues and clients. Remember, your interview is also likely to be in that language, so getting a head start is a good idea.
Learning a new language will only benefit you in the long run. It’ll give you more opportunities in your career, help you make new friends and is another great skill to add to your resume. Think of this as an opportunity to increase the number of skills you have, as employers will be seriously impressed at how you picked up an entirely new language.
Chances are, the country you move to will speak in English. Countries such as Canada and most throughout Europe conduct business in English, where companies are trying to fill the skills gap and are doing their best to hire the best talent possible.
Another big change to expect is the weather — depending on the country you want to move to and the city you eventually live in. For example, if you’re used to the scorching heat and sunshine Brazil offers, it’s a big difference from England, where you get a few months of sun but expect the rest to be cold and filled with rain.
The same applies anywhere else. The climate of the country you live in right now could be a lot different from another. Do your research beforehand to ensure you’re choosing a country where you’d be comfortable with the climate. The last thing you want is to select a country where it’s constantly warm and you were hoping for a cooler climate, or the other way around, when it’s too late.
We advise you to choose a country that can offer the best of both worlds. Europe and Canada are two excellent options where you get the right balance of warm and cooler months (plus the snow at times if this is something you’ve always wanted to experience!).
The Distance From Friends and Family
Another aspect to consider is moving to a new country will mean you might be quite far from your friends and family. If you’ve lived in one country all of your life and you’re close to your friends and family, this can be a significant change. Although it’s easy to say, this is something you’ll eventually come to terms with when you’re occupied with your new job, new friends and exploring.
There’s no denying you’ll feel homesick and you’ll also be really tempted to pack and return to your homeland due to the comfort it provided — but be strong! These things take time and opportunities like these don’t come around all the time. You don’t want to go back and then have other regrets that you didn’t give the foreign country a fair chance.
We advise you to begin to get to know people right away. Your neighbors, colleagues and networking; these are all great ways to get to know people and potentially build personal relationships. You can begin a sport, have a drink with other immigrants who are new to the country or do anything else you’re comfortable with.
Don’t make yourself feel isolated and make sure you don’t let the distance from your friends and family get in the way. You can always visit them or even regularly chat through Zoom or Google Meet to ensure you’re always in regular contact.
The Benefits of Living in a Foreign Country
Moving abroad shouldn’t be an overly nervous experience and it shouldn’t put you off from enjoying this journey. Although it’s natural to feel a little overwhelmed, it helps by sitting back and understanding the benefits of such a big, exciting decision.
Experience Another Country
One of the biggest benefits is also one of the simplest — you’ll actually experience a new, different country. Think of how many people can actually say they’ve achieved something like this. Whether it’s out of fear or a lack of opportunities, you’re in a fortunate position to be able to live in another country and create experiences you’ll never forget.
Think about the mix of cultures you’ll enjoy, the entertainment, the way of life, the cuisines and the lifestyles. It’s a great opportunity and something that’s actually on a lot of people’s bucket lists.
Once you do this once, we can assure you that you’ll always want to visit another country to experience something new each time.
Making New Friends
Another huge benefit of living in a foreign country is that you’ll make new friends. Nobody can have too many friends and you never know the opportunities these friends can bring either. Whether it’s connecting you with people they know in your industry or helping you experience things you didn’t want to do alone, these new friends will always have your back.
In some cases, these new friends might be in the same situation as you. They might have also moved from another country, so you’d rely on each other to settle in and create memories. Also, think about how much you can learn from each other and your cultures.
Discover and Learn From Challenges International Companies Face
When you live in a foreign country and start your new career abroad, one of the most significant benefits you’re likely to experience is that you’ll learn about the challenges international companies face. Right now, you’ve probably discovered and learned from local business challenges or on a smaller scale.
However, think big — the likes of Apple, Amazon, Facebook — these sorts of tech companies have a footprint all over the world. Working for similar types of companies will allow you to discover and learn first-hand just how these businesses operate. You’ll learn about their structures, teams, ways of working, the challenges they face and how they overcome these challenges.
This learning experience will stick with you for the rest of your career.
Build an International Network
Another benefit that often isn’t spoken about enough is the international network you’ll build. Sometimes, it’s people who unlock new opportunities for you, so you can never underestimate the power of networking. Networking, in general, is recommended, but it’s much more beneficial when you network with people from different backgrounds and influences.
These people are from all corners of the world, so the opportunities they can present are much bigger than anybody else. It’s a great way to meet new people, see how they can benefit you and also return any favors one day.
Plus, there’s so much to learn from them. And you never know, somebody from your network might be the one that helps you land your next dream job, especially if some aren’t advertised publicly.
Build Your Self Esteem
Living in a foreign country for work does come with its own challenges, but these are what build your self esteem and character. You need to find accommodation, learn how to pay your bills differently, use the local transport and more. Sure, this might feel like a big learning curve at first, but you’ll figure this out quickly.
The satisfying feeling you’ll get is unmatched. If you can achieve all of this, you’ll gain so much confidence knowing you can tackle any other challenges life throws at you without any hesitation.
If you’re close to friends and family, moving to a foreign country for work means you’ll be away from your usual support system. This is another opportunity to grow, as it means you’ll learn more life skills for yourself. It might be as simple as learning to cook your favorite food (or something new) to bigger tasks like keeping track of budgeting.
Living in a foreign country means you’ll naturally become more independent. With independence comes a lot more confidence and makes you more comfortable approaching change head-on.
A Better Communicator
As you network, get to know your colleagues and speak to the locals while learning the language, you’ll naturally become a better communicator. Yes, it’s essential on a day-to-day basis, but it’s also something companies want to see.
When you communicate better, it makes you more reliable and exciting projects come your way. It’s also how you progress further in your career as it shows you made an effort to learn the language.
An Advantage Over Other Candidates
Another benefit you probably don’t realize right now but will when the time matters; you’d be at a considerable advantage over other candidates when you live and work in a foreign country. When your resume shows you have international experience, it already shows you’re more valuable and skilled.
It shows you’re determined, motivated and adaptable. These are all skills global employers want to see. That’s not to mention that international experience puts you ahead of those who are applying for a global position for the first time. You’ve already experienced it all, so you’d settle in much quicker.
How VanHack Helps
At VanHack, our aim isn’t just to find you a job and leave you to it. While we ensure you and the company are a perfect match, we go beyond the expectations. So far, we’ve helped over 1,600 software developers find their dream job abroad, whether it’s in the United States, throughout Europe or in Canada.
There isn’t one set process either. While we help with everything from interview preparation to visa technicalities and the relocation process, no story is the same. Using our platform, getting you abroad will be catered to you and your situation. Up until now, we’ve had some tech professionals move countries alone, whereas others have come with their families.
It differs from family to family, too. Some are just couples; some families are small while others are big and some moving projects also involve children and pets. Whatever your situation, you can count on us to be a part of the process.
We also offer free services on the VanHack platform, such as English verification and code challenges to help recruiters notice your profile. If that wasn’t enough, the VanHack Premium Academy is full of value, from weekly live classes with global talents to expert advice and tips you can’t get anywhere else.
If you’re ready to build a world class profile, get hired by some of the best organizations in the world and live in a foreign country, then be sure to sign up and begin your journey to a borderless life today.
🌎 VANHACK, LinkedIn Talent Awards Winner 2021, is Canada’s most respected recruitment company. With more than 1,700 hires, VanHack is on a mission of increasing diversity and creating a borderless world. So if you are a software developer looking for a job abroad, in Canada, the US, or Europe, join VanHack today. 100% free for candidates, plus you will get all the preparation you need when your profile is shortlisted.
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