12 Things to Consider and Ways to Prepare for Working Abroad

Dr. Frantz E. Colin / December 7, 2022 /

Working abroad can be fun, exciting, rewarding and challenging. It’s a wonderful way to experience a new culture while growing in your career. However, working abroad can also come with challenges.

It’s important to prepare before you embark on your overseas career journey. To help you do so, we’ve created this guide to working abroad.

12 Ways to Prepare for Working Abroad

Working abroad is an excellent opportunity to experience a different country, learn about a different culture, visit interesting places and meet new people. Before you begin your new career journey, here are some important things to consider when working abroad.

1. Research Possible Locations

If you’ve found yourself asking, “Should I work abroad?” start with researching potential locations before deciding on a specific country. Learn about each country’s cultures, languages and opportunities and choose one based on your travel and career goals. If you plan to change industries, learn about the industries in each area and which opportunities they present.

2. Learn About the Culture

Learn about your intended country’s culture so you can be respectful while you’re there. You should also make sure you understand your company’s culture to know what they expect from you. If you plan to switch to a new division of your current company, learn about any company culture variations in your new location.

Work-life balance and event participation expectations can differ between countries. Learn about cultural differences so you can adapt to your new work setting.

3. Prepare for Language Barriers

Language barriers can be one of the greatest challenges of working abroad. If you intend to work in a country whose primary language differs from yours, learn as many words and phrases as you can before you arrive. Practical words and phrases can help you adjust to your new location, navigate the city and perform well at work.

4. Understand Visa Conditions and Requirements

You should understand visa availability and application processes before applying. You can contact the country’s embassy or your company’s human resources department for assistance. Well-operated companies will offer guidance about the visa process — if you’re joining a new company, ask if they provide this type of assistance.

Before applying for a work visa, make sure you understand the type you need and its regulations and conditions. Some visas include conditions if you resign or a company fires you, so it’s essential to learn your visa’s ins and outs.

Apply for your visa as early as possible to avoid delays. Since visa forms can take months to process, it’s essential to plan ahead and begin early so your documents are ready when you need to travel.

Try to keep your visa with you at all times, especially when you travel around your new location, as different situations may require you to provide identification. Additionally, your visa can help you access necessary services if you become lost or encounter an emergency.

5. Accept Your Company’s Support

Utilize your company’s support as much as possible. Companies will typically offer assistance with your visa application and other necessary paperwork. Some companies also provide relocation assistance, such as moving service funding or transportation costs. Find out what resources your company provides and utilize them to save time and money on your transition process.

6. Research Local Transportation

Plan how you will travel around once you reach your new location. Research prices, rental car processes and availability if you plan to rent or buy a car. If you plan to use public transportation, research the local transit systems before arriving and gather any schedules or maps you may need.

7. Pack Efficiently

While you want to ensure you have all the essentials and important items you will need, try to limit your luggage to only necessary items. If you pack too much, you could encounter challenges transporting your items to your destination and storing them once you arrive. Pack only what you will need to travel comfortably and arrive prepared for your first few days or until you can visit a store.

Try to limit your packing to the following essentials:

  • Clothing
  • Necessary work equipment
  • Toiletries
  • Required documents

8. Research Banking Options

Research banking options in your new destination. You may not have access to your current banking services when you begin working in another country and banking options can vary between countries. Learn about all of your possible banking options before you arrive so you can set up a way to deposit and access your funds quickly. Seek guidance from a financial professional in your desired location to help you navigate your options.

9. File Taxes Correctly

Tax laws can vary depending on where you relocate, so it’s important to understand local tax laws before you begin working abroad. No matter where you relocate, you will most likely have to pay U.S. federal taxes as long as you are a U.S. citizen. Reach out to a tax specialist for guidance if you need any help.

10. Join a Community

Find a like-minded community to help you adjust to your new setting. Spending time with neighbors, coworkers, social groups or other expatriates can help you form social connections. Other expatriates have most likely experienced similar challenges and successes — you can turn to them for advice, support and community.

11. Prepare for Potential Emergencies

Emergencies can occur anywhere, so be sure to prepare for them. If your current healthcare plan doesn’t cover international medical services, you may need to find full medical and health insurance that covers services in your new locations. It’s also important to obtain medical evacuation insurance coverage since travel insurance doesn’t always cover medical evacuation flights.

Be aware of natural disasters that can occur in your new location and how you will evacuate if necessary. Create a disaster plan so you know how to protect yourself and your family in an emergency or natural disaster. Create a list of important contact numbers and keep your important documents in one place.

12. Create a Medical Evacuation Plan

It’s important to know what to do if you become ill or injured abroad and need to return home, so create a plan for how you will evacuate the country in a medical emergency. Be aware of medical evacuation services and save their information where it’s easily accessible.

Create an evacuation plan for emergencies you may experience while working abroad. REVA’s air ambulance team will provide international transportation with critical-care medical treatment. Our compassionate team of highly qualified specialists will provide safe and efficient care while transporting patients across the country or overseas.

What Do You Need to Work Abroad?

When it’s time to make your move, you’ll need to settle your paperwork before booking a flight to your new destination. If you’re ready to commit to working abroad, make sure you have the following:

  • Passport
  • Visa
  • Travel insurance
  • International health insurance
  • Medical flight evacuation insurance

Prepare for Emergencies with REVA

REVA offers ground transportation, travel and clinical documentation, a qualified flight crew and an experienced medical team. Request a quote for medical flight transportation or save the following information in your emergency plan:

  • U.S. phone number: 954-730-9300
  • International phone number: +1-877-861-7382
  • REVA website: https://www.flyreva.com