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Expatriate preparation

About 40% of expatriates fall into failure upon working in a new country. However, this is not due to incompetence in the workplace, skills or tasks assigned, but rather due to inability to adapt to the foreign culture. That being said, the need for expatriate preparation is crucial. The following is information on how to adapt, as preparation is necessary for success as an expatriate.

Definition of Sovereignty

    • 1) obsolete : supreme excellence or an example of it
    • 2)
      • a : supreme power especially over a body politic
      • b : freedom from external control : autonomy
      • c : controlling influence
    • 3) one that is sovereign; especially : an autonomous state
There are six basic steps to becoming an expatriate and regaining your sovereignty. These steps should be followed in order to prepare for expatriation.

6 Step to Sovereignty

      1. Decide where to go, who will accompany you, and how long you want to stay.
      2. Find a job in your desired country.
      3. Apply for the visa that you will need for your stay in that country of choice.
      4. Wait for approval from the country’s government.
      5. In order to be adequately equipped, future expatriates must acquire knowledge about the culture they are entering into, become aware of the differences in culture they will encounter in their new place of living.
      6. Obtain competence in communicating cross-culturally.

All of this does not happen immediately and adequate preparation time is needed before departing from one’s home country.

Some of the most psychologically challenging areas expatriates face are verbal communication behaviors, nonverbal communication behaviors, and work styles of their new country. Therefore, communication is the most important aspect of expatriate adaption, as it promotes benefits for psychological health upon entering into new cultures and countries. Future expatriates must be trained on the knowledge and understanding of how their host cultures function in communication. This will allow for success in expatriation.

eye on the worldIn order to be adequately equipped, one of the things future expatriates must also acquire is knowledge about the culture they are entering into. The following is an explanation of some of the ways a person could go about in acquiring that knowledge.

Before entering the host country, an expatriate must come to an understanding of the values, norms, beliefs, and behavior patterns of the host culture. Then, they should develop an appreciation, understanding, and acceptance of those things. One way to acquire knowledge about the host country is to take the Cognitive Approach. This includes learning information about the country through lecture-type orientation.

Another way of learning is through fact-orientation. This involves briefing of the environment and becoming oriented with the culture so that the expatriate may understand the history, the geography, the religion, the people, and the economy of the host country.

One of the best recommended ways to acquire knowledge about the culture is through experiences.  Taking part in the learning will allow the expatriates to develop a better understanding of the details and host culture as a whole.  This will then contribute to the success of the expatriate. Field experiences may also be done in order to acquire more knowledge about the host culture. This is where the expatriate goes into another culture for a short period of time, to get used to the feeling of being out of their homeland.

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