As corporate language training providers, we work with companies to help ensure their international relocations are successful. If you’re a professional who manages global moves for your company, or if you’re being relocated yourself, here are some great articles we’ve found recently that will help you stay on top of everything you should know.
The TRC Global Mobility Blog breaks down a topic that both companies and employees need to be familiar with: repayment agreements. Here’s the deal: Under a repayment agreement, if an employee resigns within a certain amount of time after a company pays for a relocation, then the employee has to pay back relocation expenses. Sometimes repayment agreements also mandate that an employee has to pay the company back if they are terminated with cause. Companies use repayment agreements to protect their investment in top talent: International relocations can sometimes cost employers $1 million or more.
Real Life in China
Did you know that more than 70,000 Americans live in Mainland China? If your company is sending you to China, or if you’re managing relocations of other employees to China, you’ll want to check out Finnish expat Sara Jaaksola’s blog Living a Dream in China. A language teacher living in Guangzhou, Jaaksola shares our belief that learning even a little everyday vocabulary helps you take part in the culture. We were intrigued by her post “Expat Life in China | 5 Biggest Changes Over the Past Decade.” One detail Jaaksola shares about her life is that she makes at least 90 percent of her purchases using Alipay or WeChat. This is a great reminder that many aspects of daily life will be different when you live overseas.
10 Key Questions
Thorough preparation is the key to making international relocations successful. That preparation starts with finding out the essential information about the move and doing some soul-searching about whether it’s right for you and (if applicable) your family. Worldwide ERC’s article “10 Questions to Ask Your Employer Before Your Relocation” is essential reading for employees who are considering international assignments. The list spans family concerns, career considerations and much more. If you’re a professional who manages global relocations for your company, this article will help you better anticipate and answer employees’ questions.
HR Leaders Weigh In
Human Resources magazine has a far-reaching look at international relocations featuring insights from Amgen, Kerry Group, Roche Diagnostics, T-Systems, WE Communications and Wunderman. There’s lots to digest here, but one thing that stood out to us is that only 25 percent of international assignees are women. We also appreciated the emphasis on support for expat employees.
Moving to Mexico
As you might expect for a language training company based in Texas, companies hire us to help employees prepare to move from the U.S. to Mexico (and vice-versa). We always emphasize that preparing for a move involves learning culture as well as language. That’s why we would recommend the article “Living in Mexico as an expat” from the blog Expatolife to anyone relocating to Mexico or helping others relocate to Mexico. In this interview, an expat named Natalie talks about moving from Ohio to Mexico for her husband’s job. Natalie shares some things she did that made her family’s move easier, such as tapping the expertise of other expat spouses from her husband’s company. She’s also frank about things that haven’t been so easy, like meeting new friends in a small town, and she recommends starting to learn Spanish before your move.
Know any other articles we should check out? We’d love recommendations on great resources. And if you’d like to talk with us about your own international relocation plans, contact us for a free consultation: [email protected] or (800) 401-3159.