How to prepare for a short-term international assignment
1) Ensure you fully understand the scope of your assignment
2) Consider the logistics
While your employer may look after a lot of the logistical aspects of your trip, it’s important for you to keep on top of this. Familiarise yourself with visa requirements, accommodation options, transportation, stipends, and local amenities before you go.
It’s also crucial to ensure that you’re properly insured for your short-term assignment. As an international worker, you’ll have unique health insurance needs compared to your colleagues. Check out some of plans to ease the stress of becoming an expat.
3) Connect with your employer's expat support
If expat assignments are a regular occurrence in your workplace, it’s likely that there’s some kind of expat support programme in place. Reach out to them to discuss the details of your assignment, including relocation assistance, housing support, and access to local resources.
Preparing for a new culture
One of the most challenging factors of a short-term international project can be the of your host location. Getting out of your comfort zone and dealing with new surroundings can be daunting, but it’s well worth the experience.
If you have the time and resources, try to familiarise yourself with your new local language, learning key phrases and words to connect with colleagues and locals. Be sure to research social norms and etiquette in your host country, and be aware that these can be very different to what you’re used to at home. Becoming familiar with these ideas can make it a lot easier to adapt and integrate into your new environment.
Making the most of your trip
Once you arrive in your new host country, it’s important to embrace your new surroundings and make the best of the opportunity.
- Set clear objectives: At work, clarify your goals and objectives early, and make sure to make a good impression on your interim colleagues.
- Embrace your new environment: Actively engage with your new workmates, learn from them and foster a strong cross-cultural relationship.
- Explore the local area: Immerse yourself in your new local culture. Try new foods, take part in traditions, and see any sights or cultural landmarks. These enriching experiences will deepen your appreciation for your host country.
While you enjoy your new surroundings, it’s also important to look after yourself and your mental health while abroad. can be a great way to find support, while also staying in regular touch with your friends and family back home. Remember to keep up your exercise and self-care routines and to eat well – travelling can be an easy way to fall into lazier habits, so try to keep your nutrition to a good level while abroad.
A short-term international assignment as an expat offers a wealth of opportunities for personal and professional growth. By thoroughly preparing and planning for your assignment, embracing the local culture, and maintaining your routine, you can make the most of this transformative experience.