Living and Working Abroad

The Chad

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Hello,

Since this is a multi-national forum, I figured I'd ask this question here...

Who here lives and works in a country that they were not born or a citizen of? If you are an expatriate I would love to hear about your experience and what is involved in working abroad.

The reason why I'm asking is that in several months, I will be graduating with a degree in Operations Management and I have no ties to any particular location, and enticed by possibly looking for, obtaining, and living in another country (somewhere in Europe perhaps, maybe the UK?), and I have personally experienced a lot of what my own country has to offer. Don't get me wrong, I love my country, I am just looking for a different experience in my life.

Is it easier to find a job in the country you want to go to before moving? Is it easier to get a work visa or what not? Are there any good online resources for me to read up on?

Any wisdom from people who have been through this on here would be greatly, greatly appreciated. Thank you all.
 

No Boss

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Hello,

Since this is a multi-national forum, I figured I'd ask this question here...

Who here lives and works in a country that they were not born or a citizen of? If you are an expatriate I would love to hear about your experience and what is involved in working abroad.

The reason why I'm asking is that in several months, I will be graduating with a degree in Operations Management and I have no ties to any particular location, and enticed by possibly looking for, obtaining, and living in another country (somewhere in Europe perhaps, maybe the UK?), and I have personally experienced a lot of what my own country has to offer. Don't get me wrong, I love my country, I am just looking for a different experience in my life.

Is it easier to find a job in the country you want to go to before moving? Is it easier to get a work visa or what not? Are there any good online resources for me to read up on?

Any wisdom from people who have been through this on here would be greatly, greatly appreciated. Thank you all.
I'm in basically the exact same situation, contemplating the same things, and would like to begin my research with some personal opinions as well. :thumbsup:
 

KaJuN

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Working abroad? Why just one? :drums:

Seriously though, this is something I've wondered about to. But maybe I just need to get out of Ohio. Don't get me wrong, miles and miles of cornfields are fun and all but I'd like a little change of scenery in the near future (Canada has come under my consideration a couple times). I assume it's pretty easy for international students as the universities do a lot to help the process but I have no clue as to how to go it alone.
 

flamingice

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It's complicated.
I've had a bit of experience with this sort of stuff before. I'd really recommend working in another country, it's a great experience!

In terms of online resources, there's lots. Since you're from the US, just do a search for information for US citizens, living in Country X... for example, in England, this site has links to a couple of other sites that might be useful for you.
http://www.reloburo.com/uk_information/american.shtml

In general, I think it's easier to get a Visa if you can find a job before you leave. However, it's also hard to find a job while you're not actually in the country... so that doesn't always work.

No more time right now, but ask if you have any more questions.
 

HondaF1

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I was born in Britian, move to Australia aged 6, became a citizen here and am moving back to work and live in November.

Do I need any permits/visa's if I am returning on a British passport?
 

Devon

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I was born in Britian, move to Australia aged 6, became a citizen here and am moving back to work and live in November.

Do I need any permits/visa's if I am returning on a British passport?
When you moved to Australia did you/your parents apply for Dual Citizenship?
 

CyberMonkey

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Do you want a permanent job or something short-termed? I suppose there exist a lot of programmes for (voluntary) work abroad, also in developed countries.

For example AFS has a "community service" programme.
 

pdanev

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Bulgarian, born there, moved to Hungary when I was 8, studying in The Netherlands for 4 years now (which included 1/2year stay in Singapore), hoping to graduate soon. Though not working yet, I guess I can still share some experience.

First and most important of all, is are you up for the task. Every new beginning and journey is hard, it's not just buying your ticket and going there. You will spend a very long time dealing with administrative issues, getting to know the city/country, how life works etc. Most of the time the 1st 1/2 year or so is a mixture of very good and very bad. Very good because you find everything else that is different from your home nice, exciting, cool, fun etc. Very bad because you will have all sort of trouble in getting your life set up - paperwork, permits, place to live, registering here and there, accounts, etc, very time consuming and not a particularly exciting thing to do. Also, no matter where you go, getting to know some people and making some friends always takes a while.

Then it becomes a cycle of good and bad. Sometimes you are glad about your decision, you like the new life, followed by feelings of missing home, relatives etc. Quite a big and common problem is social life. At home you may be very outgoing and talkative person with a lot of friends, but you never know what is going to happen abroad. Maybe your mentality may not be suitable for your new workplace, your new neighborhood/city. This does not mean that your personality is bad, or that the people at the new place where you moved to are bad. The simple clash of different ideas, opinions, customs, mentality etc may prevent you from having a lot of friends. Which in turn can make your life miserable when you don't have someone to go and have a drink with. But then again, the extreme opposite may be true where you feel like you are made for that new place, and can't believe you didn't move there earlier. You never know, and there isn't a way to find it out untill you've lived in a place for at least 1/2-1 year. Only then do you get to know how people really are like. At first sight everyone seems happy, friendly, helpful etc no matter where you go, but once you get the know people better you can spot the real character - could be even better than at 1st sight, could be much worse.

Another issue is if you change location too often, you will have the problem like I do of not really knowing where home is. It's fine for some people, for others not, the question is are you fine with it?

I've seen many people go to study/work abroad, most failing miserably and going home after a year. It depends on many things one of which is how close/tied are you to your home/family. Most people love their home, everything is there - friends, relatives, you are used to how things are run, you know where everything is etc, you are comfortable, you are home. You gotta have quite a strong personality to "survive" somewhere else and not collapse mentally, which is quite often the case as people miss their home more than anything and simply can not establish a new workplace, life etc.

So overall my advice would be to really think things over, especially for the long run. I suppose if you once go abroad you want to maximize the benefits that were the reason for you leaving home in the 1st place. That means staying more than just a few months there, rather a few years.

If you are just going abroad because you feel bored at home, then better go on some 1/2 year training, internship or something like that. That way you get the necessary change that people usually need, but will be back home to regular life after that. Otherwise, you really should have very very good and a LOT of reasons to go abroad. Only that way will you be committed and motivated enough to overcome the difficulties that usually come along with what is basically starting a new life.
 

HondaF1

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Do you want a permanent job or something short-termed? I suppose there exist a lot of programmes for (voluntary) work abroad, also in developed countries.

For example AFS has a "community service" programme.
Permanent. Im moving there for 4 years minimum
 

rskrobot

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I've been thinking about this as well. Looking to move to either Scotland or Ireland. I've not been to either place (hopefully Ireland later this year :D ) so I'm not sure just yet.
I am a civil engineer specifically site engineer where should I look for jobs?
 

Redliner

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I have a friend who moved to Denmark and has been living there for almost 2 years and so far he's having a great time. I am about to complete my Bachelor's degree and going to Europe would be great for me.
 

The Chad

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Thanks for all the responses... When I have time, I will respond to some of the comments later. Thank you though, in advance.
 

teeb

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I'm moving over to France halfway through September.

The EU (for once) has been useful, so I don't need masses of paperwork to get a work permit over there (don't need a permit at all), or a visa. And I have a job ready and worked out.

The problem (twofold) is getting a bank account and somewhere to stay. I can only stay in a hostel for so long! Plus it's a nice Catch 22 - you need a bank account to hire a flat; and to get a bank account you need an address.

For some reason I am not vastly worried by the language barrier (something that doesn't affect US -> UK immigrants, for example). I think I will be closer to the time. Hopefully it'll help my French get better.

Uhh, sorry, I suspect this is less helpful for those of you moving abroad and more me getting this off my chest a bit.
 

hajj

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I lived in Germany for 16 years, then I did IB in the UK for 2 years and now I am at Uni in the Netherlands. It has been fun, but you really lose the connection with friends. Mostly because of cash and time constrains I can only do so many trips back to the UK, my old friends were scattered around the country anyway for university, so I would just see two or three everytime I go over.
But luckily many of them are moving to London at the moment to work there. :) I am planning to do my master in London next year or go and work there the year after.

A change of scenery is always great, you meet new people and things are exciting, but the danger is that you lose your "home". I have dual citizenship at the moment and I need to choose at some point, but I have no idea what I will do.
 

Scooby5

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Who here lives and works in a country that they were not born or a citizen of? If you are an expatriate I would love to hear about your experience and what is involved in working abroad.
I'm a Scot that finished a degree in 1994. I started work for an electronics company there that had a main office in Hong Kong and a production facility in Southern China. What started off as an explorative 2-wk visit has turned into the rest of my life.

Anyway, within a few months i moved to Hong Kong, aged 23. I was single and not in a relationship when i left. It was "only" my parents that i left behind and i think doing it as a single is the best way to go. Since the company were moving me they also provided accomodation, which is a HUGE deal when you consider even back in the mid-90's the rent was over USD2k per month. So i was working as a design engineer in the office for half a week, and as a production/product initialisation engineer in the China factory for the other half of the week. Americans amongst you might know the company if i say "X-10".

I changed jobs whilst in HK after two years and a further 6-yrs after that changed jobs again and this time country too, as i moved to Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur. At the end of February this year i moved to Singapore but with the same company.

Now at 36 i'm married to a Hong Kong girl and, mostly through work trips, have seen a very large chunk of Asia, almost every country in S.E.Asia and the Far East. Everybody that came out to Asia with X-10 married locally and stayed around about albeit like me, not in the same place.

Leaving Scotland was the best thing i ever did, not because i don't like the place because i do, i still love it, but the experience of seeing SO many different places and cultures is something not to miss. It's an eye opener like no other and i believe strongly that a lot of the world's conflicts can be prevented if only people would take the time to visit or stay overseas for prolonged times, learning what makes cultures different and more importantly what makes them the same. My parents come out every year or two, to where ever i am and simply love it as well. It's something they never thought possible, seeing so many places and now that they are retiring soon will be the best escape from a Scottish winter.

Sorry, that went longer than i thought it would :mrgreen: :rolleyes:
 

Topher

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I've been thinking about this as well. Looking to move to either Scotland or Ireland. I've not been to either place (hopefully Ireland later this year :D ) so I'm not sure just yet.
I am a civil engineer specifically site engineer where should I look for jobs?
IF you are a civil Engineer, there is a huge huge huge need for them in Australia. We are going through a building boom (specifically in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Perth) and you would be in very high demand, and could probably get a lot out of it (i.e. Accommodation, Pay for flights stuff). You probably wanted to know just to do with Scotland or Ireland, but i thought i would let you know anyway.
 

rskrobot

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IF you are a civil Engineer, there is a huge huge huge need for them in Australia. We are going through a building boom (specifically in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Perth) and you would be in very high demand, and could probably get a lot out of it (i.e. Accommodation, Pay for flights stuff). You probably wanted to know just to do with Scotland or Ireland, but i thought i would let you know anyway.
I appreciate it, "down unda" is third on the list actually....so you never know.
 

thedguy

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Sorry, that went longer than i thought it would :mrgreen: :rolleyes:
One thing that always gets me about moving to place like HK or China is the lanuage barrier... how'd you handle it? You fluent in the local tongues or adjust to making hand gestures and speaking really loudly in english in hopes they figure out what you're saying :lol: ?
 
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