Solo female travellers have plenty of online advice about staying safe while passing through a destination; but what if you plan to stay a while?
It is important for you to keep these concerns in mind and to do what is possible to protect yourself. With some planning, and assistance from your employer, safety concerns should not prevent you from taking the next step in your career.
Actions you can take before and during assignment to protect yourself include:
Ask your employer about pre-assignment training
Pre-assignment orientation visit
If possible, visit your new home before you move. This is particularly important if you are moving to a country that is culturally different to your own. Ideally engage the services of a relocation expert who can:
- work with you to tailor make an itinerary for a pre-assignment visit
- bring you on an orientation tour of your new location
- identify amenities that may inform your choice of neighbourhood
- introduce you to the culture of the region
- provide you with insight on business etiquette
Research local culture
Prepare yourself for what lies ahead by researching the culture in your new home. As a woman you need to understand:
- are women expected to behave a certain way?
- are there settings where women are not allowed?
- are women expected to dress a certain way?
Contact other female expats
Trust your instinct
Don’t walk alone
Make copies of important documents
Carry a dummy wallet and a whistle
Mental health support
Living in a more dangerous environment may be a strain on your overall wellbeing, even if you do not experience crime first-hand. Having access to an expat assistance programme will help support you in your new life. Choose an EAP offering multilingual, professional support 24/7 so you can access help in your native language when you need it.
Should you need medical treatment while on assignment, having an international health insurance plan will enable you to access the best treatment available in your location.