Getting the opportunity to work overseas for a period of time is a chance most of us would jump at. Different experiences and different cultures enrich our personal and working lives, and many people who have worked overseas find that it gives them an advantage over other candidates when going for that next job or promotion. However, it can be an isolating experience and there are many good reasons why meeting up regularly with other British expats can make time spent overseas more enjoyable and fulfilling.
If your move overseas is about advancing your career opportunities, then a new location will open up a whole new world of networking possibilities. This is one of the best chances to meet people from all walks of life who can provide contacts and links which may be of use in the future. It is far easier to network overseas with other British expats as you will see the same people regularly at social gatherings and other events. Friendships often develop quickly as people bond in unfamiliar locations, and although many people initially think about networking rather than making friends, both processes happen at the same time.
Most workers who are posted overseas for extended periods take their families with them, and it can be a very isolating experience for partners and children as they do not have the ready-made social life at work. Developing a support network of friends who stand in for friends and family at home is essential, and going to an organised meet up group for expats guarantees you will meet lots of people in the same boat as you. The sort of people who go to these groups are just the sort of people who will be happy to meet up for lunch, take the kids to the park or babysit while the parents have a well-deserved night out. There are meet up groups in almost every location where there are expats, and the details are easily found on the internet.
Hints and Tips
When you move somewhere new, whatever the country, it takes a while to build up the insider knowledge about the best places to eat, where the best schools are or what days the local market is on. All other expats will have gone through this learning curve too, and going to an organised meet-up group will give you the chance to pick their brains about everything and anything concerning your adopted home.