Teach English Abroad: Enjoy Traveling and Seeing the World!
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FAQs for Living and Working Overseas:


Written by a former Peace Corps Volunteer living overseas since 1989

The Expat Guy: FAQs for Working and Living Overseas

What is the expatriate social life like overseas?

Will I be lonely living overseas?

Your social life can vary greatly.  When investigating countries where you might like to work - ask about it! 

Part of it depends on you:
Are you social and friendly?
Or do you depend on others to approach you?
Is your spouse or a partner going with you?

It's up to you!

Drunken poker parties in Saudi Arabia?  Yes!

Lonely nights in Bangkok?  Yes! 

The author has experienced both - though they are polar opposites and not at all what you would expect in either place.

Both extremes are possible.  The old axiom is, "To make a friend, be a friend."  If you don't know anyone - volunteer at a local program, join ToastMasters, the Rotary or Lions Clubs, or other local organizations.  If appropriate for you, join a local religious organization.  You will find that if you make the first move - most countries and people are very welcoming. Most expatriates recall what is was like when they first moved overseas and will reach out to help you adjust.

The author has lived in small towns with vibrant foreigner social circles and in large cities where he knew very few foreigners, and at times, had exactly the opposite social life of what you might expect.

The Local Folks

The native people of your new country can be very welcoming - you will be happily surprised.  But know also, that many cultures are much more "nosey" and will ask many more personal questions about your life, and may offer much more "advice" than you are used to. In many countries it would not be unusual to have someone tell you that you are very fat (if you are) or that you should be married by now (if you aren't) or ask about how much you earn per month or other financial questions that you would not ask others in your home country.  Take it all with a grain of salt.  It is just how it is.  

Know also that your host country neighbors and coworkers may well have seen many expatriates come and go and may wait to see how long you will stay before they attempt to establish a relationship with you.

The Foreigner's World

Know that, as a strange minority, the foreigner's world is a small one.  Your neighbors will pay more attention to you and talk about it.  Keep your bad habits, if you have them, out of sight.

Friends

The author has been fortunate to make many great friends while living overseas and we still keep in touch.  Be open to these opportunities and to people who are different from you and you will be surprised what comes up!  You may also find your friends finding or offering you jobs in other countries after they move on.

A friend of the author found him a GREAT job in Korea one time and he was able to return the favor several years later in Thailand.

 

 

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