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By Allianz Worldwide Care | October 03, 2017
It is important to remember that being a stranger in a strange place can take some getting used to, particularly if it is the first time you have travelled abroad for work. More important than anything else during your time abroad is your own personal security. Take a look at our travel safety tips for moving abroad:
Crucial to the success of your assignment abroad is researching your destination thoroughly. From a safety and security perspective get a good understanding of:
Political situation: this can vary from country to country however, even if the way the country is governed is different to what you are used to, you are often protected from this as an expatriate.
Economic situation: understand the currency, how it compares to your own and if it makes economic sense for you to work in that country.
Crime rates: how are rates of crime? Do you need to take more precautions than you would in your home country?
Social norms: how do people dress in public? How do they interact in public? Blending in when you are out of the office often helps when settling in to a new environment.
Living standards: are they similar to your home country? Will your accommodation be of significantly higher standard than the norm?
Communication: Is there high-speed internet and Wi-Fi? How is the mobile phone infrastructure? Being able to stay in touch with home is important while you are establishing yourself abroad and it is easier if you have realistic expectations about how easy it is before you leave.
Expat Network: is there an expat group in your destination country either within your company or in the area you will be living?
To find the above information, use as many sources as you can including:
Your company: should be a font of knowledge for this information, particularly if they already have an office in the destination country. If you are travelling to work in an unstable country ensure your company provide you with an escalation plan should the situation take a turn for the worst.
Online research: search for the topics listed above for your destination country. The CIA world fact book may be a good place to start. Read local publications to get a feel for what life might be like there.
Government websites: review any information from your own government about travelling to other countries.
Online forums: there are a number of online expat forums that are worth joining to post specific questions you may have about your impending move.
There are parts of the world where women are treated differently to men both culturally and legally. If you are a woman travelling to work as an expatriate in one of these countries it is important to be aware of additional security challenges you may face and plan for them. It is important that your employer has a plan in place for how should live while in these countries and that you are fully briefed before you go.
Travelling from the western world where the LGBT lifestyle is largely accepted to a country where it is not, it may prove a challenge. A good place to start researching LGBT status in a particular country is by looking at the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) annual report on the legislation affecting LGBT people globally.
It is also advisable to seek information from LGBT groups on the situation in the country you are travelling to. Speak to the company you will be working for to understand what policies and procedures they have in place to mitigate any risk you may face.
Before you leave:
When you get there:
Take the usual safety precautions until you get to know your new home including:
Staying safe in taxis:
The risk of terrorism has increased globally since the 9/11 attacks in New York. What has also changed is the locations where terrorist attacks take place European cities like London, Paris and Brussels have been targeted in recent years. Regardless of where you are moving to, it is good to follow some basic guidelines:
Amongst all the preparation, don’t forget about your health while you are abroad. International Health Insurance allows you to access medical treatment should you need it. Get an individual international health insurance quote today.