What are the main benefits of becoming an expat? It helps to not lose sight of the bigger picture as you consider a possible move to become one. Here’s our take on the really big wins of the experience.

Boosted Independence & Self Efficacy

It puts a spring in your step to know you can ride the wave of expat life, with its highs and lows. Figuring out things as you go, weathering the curve balls and riding the good times when they come around is a skill set you’ll be thankful you developed. In fact, dealing with minor life hassles like an unexpected bill, flat tire or delay in a flight begin to seem like small potatoes now that you mastered setting up a whole new existence in another country, including learning a new language, making new friends and adapting to a new culture. You now have a series of experiences behind you that reinforce your ability to think on your feet and meet major life challenges.

Increased Tolerance & a Broader Perspective

New customs, behaviors and seemingly bizarre ways of doing things … they can be par for the course when adjusting to your new place as an expat. With time, you’ll quickly learn to wait before reacting negatively (if you were tempted to) and take an open-minded approach to understanding why cultures have the practices they do (while remembering that your home country’s way of doing things can also seem pretty odd to newcomers at first!). This adaptive practice of “waiting before reacting” will serve you well in all areas of your life. After all, it rarely hurts to take a more generous, tolerant view of another’s behavior when it is foreign or doesn’t align with how you see the world. It prevents you from regretting something you might have said or allows you to simply find the humor in it all. Not to mention, you will make more friends when they see you’re not judging their country’s ways, too.

Appreciation of Home Country

Conversely, the contrast of being in a new country can quickly bring into sharp focus the creature comforts of your home country (for me, it was plumbing and convenience of, well, everything). The things you took for granted just because they were always available to you are suddenly now much more valuable because they are unavailable or in short supply. A certain cuisine, quick access to the beach or mountains, a great public transportation system or another convenience you may have to go without heightens your appreciation of them and your hometown.

Professional Contacts & Expanded Network / Opportunities

Working in a new country instantly expands your network. In theory, yes, you can connect with people solely over technology, but working face to face or in closer proximity with them provides more meaningful connections that can serve you down the line. Friends and acquaintances that you’ll take back with you, even those slightly removed contacts, can be stronger ones later.

Bragging Rights

OK, so maybe this isn’t at the top of the reasons to become an expat, nor should it be. But, hey, there’s no shame in wanting to be able to hang your hat on that season in your life when you struck out on your own and tried out life in a new country. No one can take that away from you or deny the courage and moxie it takes to become an expat! It is undoubtedly an impressive life chapter you can always stand proud of when sharing about that time in your life, no matter what circles you’re moving in.

Fluency Corp can help your employees and their families assimilate to their country, city and neighborhood through private English lessons (or other languages) in home, in office or online. We transform communication with employees and their families so the success of international relocations are greatly increased. For a free consultation:,contact us at getfluent@fluencycorp.com or (800) 401-3159. Check out our success stories.