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Common Challenges for expats

Life of an expat can offer a lot of opportunities and a chance for a new beginning in a new country. However, stepping into the unknown can be a big leap and expats can encounter a few yet devastating challenges.

Below are the main challenges that expats face:


One of the biggest problems expats encounter is the loss of their personal support networks.  This mainly includes the loss of family relatives and close friends.  The main challenge for single individuals and couples without children is loneliness and on the other hand, those expats that move to the new country with their family can face problems of their own.  Either way, it will take some time to settle down and despite of moving alone or with a family, the expats have to push themselves to socialize and mix in social circles.

Missing Home

It could be the heat or the cold, favorite brand of biscuits, the greenery, fashion, beaches, and the urban or rural life.  Almost every expat will become homesick at some point as it is only natural.  Social media does not help in such cases as it only shows you what you are missing out on.  On top there is the pressure to stay involved and portray a good image. Homesickness will come and go and the best way to deal with it is to accept it and become more involved in the new society in order to start feeling more like home.

Money & Cost of Living

Most of the time, expats move to a new country for a larger pay packet or better working benefits than the one in their home country.  However, most of the time a larger pay packet and better working benefits come hand in hand with a higher cost of living.  Another common financial concern is the access to pensions and other investment schemes as they can be affected when working abroad.

Cultural Shocks

One of the most stressful elements of moving to a new country is facing a completely new culture.  Some expats can get Cultural shocks which can be quite a mental strain resulting into depression, frustration and confusion.  It is wise that expats do their homework carefully when moving to a new country.  Living abroad is not simply a long holiday but can be quite a challenge for the unprepared.

Other challenges:

The challenges encountered depend on the type of destination country and also on the character of the expat.  For some just the move itself can be a huge challenge.  Others might have problems with the language, finding accommodation and problems concerning families. On the other hand, for some expats, experiencing a totally new way of life can be an exciting adventure.

LiveWorkGermany provides in-depth, accurate, real, honest and up-to-date content advising expats in Germany and those seeking to relocate here. Covering topics such as housing, relocation, dealing with bureaucracy, work & employment, learning German as well as everyday life in Germany through the eyes of an expat & guest bloggers. E-book and expat city guides coming soon.  

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