Working Abroad: Top 3 Tips for Would-Be Expats in Asia


Moving to another country for work has become really popular in recent years, especially when it comes to the wonders of Asia. More and more Westerners are making the decision to relocate to one of the Asian countries in search of a different experience or a better future. Of course, a transition this big might be exciting, but it’s not necessarily easy, which is why it’s important to prepare for this change as much as possible. 

1. Get plenty of info before you go

expat in asia

It’s crucial to realize that regardless of your preferred Asian country, where you want to move for work, you’ll still have to get accustomed and adjusted to a different culture, daily habits, and the way things work in general. After all, everyday life and values tend to be quite different in Asia compared to the Western world. In that respect, you should know what you’re getting into; this doesn’t mean that you should get scared or give up, but it will still do you a lot of good to get a sense of Asian culture and customs before you finalize your move. 

That said, aside from the online research and maybe even 101 talks with your Asian friends, keep in mind that taking a longer trip to the Asian country where you want to move, before the actual move, will definitely make a big difference for your own views and expectations. What’s more, the chances are you can find plenty of books on this topic as well thanks to the popularity of expat life in Asia. 

2. Get in touch with other expatriates 

Before you leave your home country to move to Asia for work, it would be rather beneficial to make your own network ahead of time. Essentially, get in touch with other expats that are already living in your country of choice, especially those that have moved there for work. You might already have some foreign colleagues at your future workplace but even if you don’t, don’t hesitate to seek help and advice online. By doing so, you’ll be able to get useful information and tips that these people found to be most important upon their own arrival. What’s more, you’ll be able to make friends with others who know what you’re going through, which is often easier at first than making friends with locals. 

Thanks to your contacts, you’ll also be able to learn more about the best entertainment options, food, transport, various services that can help you speak English, etc. For instance, if you’re moving with your family to Honk Kong, you’d definitely want to utilize Monkey Tree ESL courses for all of you. 

3. Focus on the things you like about the country you’re moving to

asia move

As mentioned, the move can be a bit overwhelming, especially considering the culture shock you’re bound to experience once you get there. In general, you want to use the first trip to your country of choice in order to find all of the things that you really like about the place. This can be culture, food, architecture, nature, people, drinking customs, and so on. 

Essentially, you’ll find it a lot easier to get used to the change and acclimate as an expat if you already have aspects of the particular Asian country that you thoroughly enjoy. This is also something you should do when making a choice between a couple of different Asian countries. If you’re not sure where to go first, pinpointing and comparing your likes and dislikes will help you tremendously. 

A change might not be easy but it still can be good, exciting, and fun. Experiencing a new culture, language, and customs through a working environment is definitely a unique and bold move that will help you grow as a person as well.