Things You Shouldn’t Say to an Expat

Being an Expat can be wonderful, adventurous and exciting…but it can also be hard!

People are often blinded by the glamour of traveling the world, and they forget that moving overseas comes with a lot of challenges. This can sometimes make it hard for Expats to relate to “common” folks.

Jessica Combes, the Editor of CPI Financial’s SME business magazine, FinanceME, is an Expat who has lived in Japan, Indonesia and Australia. She touched on these problems perfectly in her piece “What not to say to an expat”, featured on CPI Financial.

What not to say to an expat

Thursday 18, February 2016 by Jessica Combes

Moving overseas is a massive undertaking that requires planning, saving, packing and saying goodbye; it is not done on a whim.
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I have been in Dubai for five months now. Going by popular opinion, I’m heading down the final stretch to “the magic six-month mark”–this mystical point in time where everything is suddenly supposed to make sense, from how to succeed at my job to being better equipped to decide if I’ll take the plunge and commit to a car.

Every time I have moved to a different country, and I find myself in number four, I seem to face being told the same thing… sometimes by the same people.

Related: The Best Things About Being an Expat 

You are so lucky

I moved to Japan because I didn’t know what to do after graduation and a friend said “Let’s go teach English in Japan for year.”  So we did. Well, my one year turned into three.

As for my move to Bali, I had to be a little more persistent with Director of Studies and I suspect he hired me purely out of exasperation. But it got me onto the island for two years where I learned to ride a scooter, surf and scuba dive.

Finally I find myself in Dubai after submitting my CV, surviving a nerve-wracking conference call and accepting the position offered.

For all these opportunities, the minimum prerequisite was a degree, which took me a year longer than my classmates to attain. I struggle to learn and I fall apart during exams. There were a couple of moments where graduation felt a bit touch-and-go.

In some instances I had to submit written applications. For most there were interview stages, which always make me break down with nerves. There was still a good chance the other parties could have turned around and said a very firm, but polite, no thank you.

To put all of that down to luck is just insulting – there was hard work, self-doubt, and anxiety as well as a good, solid dose of blood, sweat and tears.

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Tell Us in the Comments Below: What phrase or question are you tired of hearing about being a Expat?

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