do I find a place that fits my lifestyle?
checking out the financial situation - you need to
carefully investigate the social situation where you
hope to go. A lonely life overseas is no fun at all.
Again, go to
discussion boards (see the Resources page) and ask about
lifestyle issues. Are the local people friendly or
xenophobic? Will you find yourself isolated or quickly
absorbed into an active local or expatriate community?
If you are gay or single and seeking a dating scene -
ask about it. It is much better to be upfront and
find out - than to be committed to a year of loneliness.
lived for three years in a smallish community in Korea,
but because of friends, had a great social life. Others
find themselves in small towns, lonely, isolated, and
It might be
best, with your first job, to avoid smallish towns or
cities, particularly in countries where foreigners are
not quickly accepted or where there is
not an expatriate community.
As much as
we would all like to live in, adjust to, and be accepted
by the people of a foreign culture, it is often more
difficult than it might seem and it can take some time.
The local folks have, after all, seen a fair number of
people just like you come and go over the years - they
may well wait a year or two before warming up.
So, a strong
expatriate community can provide good support during
your initial days, when you don't know the language and
need to sort out your living situation.
Fresh in a
new community, it can even be difficult to figure out
where to find food that you are familiar with. Other
issues that you might need help with: getting a
telephone, cable or satellite TV, a computer and/or
Internet connection, driver's license (some jobs will
require this), a car or motorcycle. Even getting
drinking water delivered to your house can be
problematic. These are just the beginning issues - what
about going to immigration and getting a resident visa,
a work permit and whatever else may be required on that
employer or coworkers can/will help you with these
issues - but not always.
Ask on the
boards about the kind of support you might expect to
find in your new community. Also ask about any
lifestyle issues you may be unsure about.
financial needs/wants with lifestyle issues.
Particularly if you are single and/or gay. You can
earn/save a lot money in Saudi Arabia - but your life
might not be enjoyable. South and Central America,
Eastern Europe, and parts of Asia sometimes have active
dating or "alternative lifestyle" communities, but
sometimes, also, pay poorly.
Go to the
discussion boards and ask about lifestyle. Do it as
frankly as you would ask about wages.
As with most
things in life, find a balance of what fits you best and
will keep you happy.
to know - before you go.