|As borders start to open, assignments that were on hold will start to move forward. No matter how much someone prepares to move internationally, there are always surprises along the way.
Here are a few common concerns you can address before your assignee moves abroad:
It seems more expensive. The COLA or cost of living allowance in a new location is factored into any assignee’s salary calculation, yet many expats say it is not enough to cover the differences. Is this perception or reality? This is often caused by comparing costs at home for gas, eating out, and shopping for their favorite foods at a local supermarket. Often there are many items in the host country that are lower than home.
I can’t find like items. Expats often complain they can’t find clothes or shoes in their size and that the quality is not the same as back home. As mentioned above, some food items may be harder to find, adding to the frustration. Knowing in advance which items will be hard to get will allow them to stock up on these items before the move.
Lots of bureaucratic red tape. Many assignees express frustration with the length of time it often takes to obtain a residence permit and/or visa, driver’s license, open a bank account and other requirements in setting up a home abroad.
Finding housing within budget. Expectations need to be managed when it comes to housing. Many expats expect a certain level of housing when compared to the home country, but often that housing doesn’t exist in the host location and/or doesn’t fit their housing budget. The expat should be updated on any additional costs such as housing taxes and legal fees that may need to be paid, too.
Is it safe to drive abroad? Driving conditions vary greatly around the world. It is best to discuss the driving conventions with the expat before departure. Is traffic unmanageable? Is it dangerous to drive around the host city? Is there an efficient public transportation system? Discussing transportation ahead of time will lessen the stress associated with getting to the office.
Living Abroad’s International Relocation Center’s destination reports provide detailed information on all the topics above and takes the stress out of your employee assignments and business travel by providing detailed solutions to obstacles and questions…even during the most complex relocations and business trips.
Advantages of working with us:
- Location-specific information on moving, living, and doing business
- Web links to in-country resources
- One source for employees’ international relocations
- Professionally written for business use
- Comprehensive topics – including the most current issues
- Cultural learning for international relocation, business travel, and international teams
If you move employees around the globe or manage business travelers – or both – tap into our 30+ years’ experience, a wealth of trusted information, and our exclusive suite of innovative tools that remove all the guesswork from your assignments.
Written by Cathy Heyne, GMS-T – Managing Director
Let Living Abroad’s International Relocation Center, Global Business Travel Center and Culture Coach Online equip your assignees, families and global business travelers with the tools they need to navigate the unfamiliar with confidence.
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