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How to enjoy an expatriation as an expat’s spouse?

Jun 5, 13 • homepage, RelocationNo CommentsRead More »

One thing that usually causes the failure of someone’s expatriation is the fact that the family and especially the spouse is not enough prepared to live abroad. So how to fully enjoy the expatriation as spouse ?

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The main advice is to change the idea that you have of it. Do not look at this experience as something negative. Indeed, there are lots of worries and fears: being far away from friends and family, being shocked by a completely different culture with a lifestyle to which you are not used. But all these worries will be causing you some stress and will prevent you from blooming as an expat.

 What if you looked at expatriation more like an adventure, an opportunity to blossom and to develop your knowledge and personal skills?

Think about all the projects for which you did not have time, be creative and try new sports or cultural activities. Being an expat spouse can give you the time to create your own business or learn a new language. The experience can only be good for you and your family.

 Do not forget that you are not alone, other people have lived it before and it is absolutely normal to feel like you feel.

Do not hesitate to contact, before and during the transfer, people who have had the same experience. This will reassure you and enable you not to dread the departure.

Ask around because there are a lot of organizations which gather expats in the same country or just people from the same nationality.

It will enable you to find your marks and to meet new people.

 Last but not least, the tool « Oversea’s Assignment Inventory (OAI) » determines the intercultural adaptability of the expat and his/her spouse. According to OAI, the 12 success factors for an expat’s spouse are: open mind, flexibility, challenge spirit, unknown situation control, patience, humor, sense of contact, initiative, social adaptability, tolerance, respect of different points of view and a good communication with his/her spouse.

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