The idea of living in a foreign country sounds like a glamorous experience. Most expats move abroad with a mindset of earning big bucks, driving supercars, and pulling all-nighters in a pub on weekends. But the reality of living abroad as an expat is, at times, grueling.
An estimated 15-million Nigerian expatriates are stretched out worldwide, as per Nigeria’s Central Bank report. These Nigerian expats send approximately $25 million annually, making Nigeria the fifth largest remittance-receiving country. But are they really living in the lap of luxury? This is the question we’re going to address.
This article will explain certain challenges that you might face when moving abroad and how to mitigate them.
Learning the New Language
Communication is one of the most common issues that ex-pats confront. If you’re going to a nation where you don’t know the native language, you can run into problems right away. Many countries, such as Italy, lack a second language.
It might be tough to survive in such countries without understanding the local language. There are times when you need to haggle with your landlord, ask cab drivers for fares, and read the item descriptions at grocery shops.
Therefore, before you plan a foreign visit, it’s a good idea to learn the basics of their native tongue. You may use applications like Duolingo to learn a foreign language quickly and easily.
Renewing your Friend Circle
Expats may find it tough to leave home comforts such as friends and family and begin a new life. As a Nigerian expat, you must integrate into the local community and build friendships with other expatriates and natives if you want your stay to be a long-term success.
It’s tough to say goodbye to someone you’ve known for a long time. It’s also why companies pay generously for expats who migrate to another country in order to better their careers.
Interesting read: Using Cell Phone Abroad: A Complete Guide to International Roaming
Homesickness is Inevitable
When you’re in a very different place from your own, it’s natural to miss aspects of your own country. Missing friends and relatives are also prevalent. Putting it all together makes you homesick. Nevertheless, you can reduce the impact of homesickness by changing your attitude. These lonesome sentiments may fade if you believe in the idea that your new country is your ”New home.”
If you’re moving to the UK from Nigeria, it is a little cheaper to connect with your loved ones back home without blowing your budget.
Talk Home – UK’s renowned MVNO – offers a free 4G SIM card with an option of free home delivery. Moreover, you can call any mobile or landline number in Nigeria in just 8 pence/minute, with an additional 3GB of internet data. Discover more of Talk Home’s international plans for Nigeria.
Finding Affordable Housing
Another important thing to highlight is finding a decent place to live. Finding affordable, clean, and easily commutable accommodation when living abroad takes time and effort. Expats frequently contend with ruined walls, water leaks, and faulty wiring. Aside from that, people wind themselves in flats far from their workplaces.
Always do your homework first. There are various alternatives for finding affordable lodging, including Airbnb and TripAdvisor Rentals.
Searching for a New Job
One of the most common challenges expats face is saving money in a new country. You may be doing business over the internet in the United States or owning a motel in a remote part of England, but you must ensure that your expat lifestyle pays your bills.
Finding a high paying executive-styled job will require an extra effort. It also relies on your choice of expat living. Some like to work and live in a luxurious environment. For others, the ability to live in a variety of beautiful surroundings is a dream come true, but whichever option you select must be affordable.
Fitting in with the New Culture
If you intend to relocate to a nation where customs and culture are carefully observed, you must exercise caution. Following a foreign culture may seem needless to a Nigerian expat, yet native people might be extremely sensitive to their traditions.
For instance, a white rose is seen as a symbol of purity, elegance, and innocence in the West. On the other hand, the white rose is associated with grief, death, and ghosts in China. As a result, getting accustomed to a new culture is an important component of being an expat since it enriches your experience.
Racism and Discrimination
Racial abuse is not a rare sight for expatriates. As a Nigerian expat, you might face prejudicial treatment and discrimination based on your race and ethnicity. Although most countries have strong laws to protect expats from racial discrimination, but unfortunately, racism still occurs.
Many expats claim that they often receive poor service at eateries and shopping centres. They also report that natives are less courteous to them as compared to first citizens. Sometimes, discrimination comes in the form of derogatory racial comments and hateful remarks.
Racism and prejudice can’t be eradicated from society as there are bad eggs everywhere. But there are certain ways you can train your mind to deal with racial discrimination. As an expat, you must focus on your core ambition and strengths. It will help buffer the negative effects of racism and motivate you to overcome hardships.
Seeking support from Family members and friends can also help offset the impact of daily discrimination. Even though discussing prejudice can be difficult at times, it’s good to ask friends and relatives how they deal with similar situations.
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