Moving to Asia as a foreigner? Then there are so many things to educate yourself about. Here is a list of things that you should know about when you decide to become an expat in Asia:
1. Join Language Classes
If you are moving to China, the most common sense thing to do is to learn Mandarin Chinese in Singapore. When you are in a foreign country where the majority does not speak the same language as you, you will be at a great disadvantage. You must have some sense of the local languages to grasp important current events, announcement, or to simply bargain good. Therefore, make some effort to familiarize yourself regarding at the most widely spoken local language.
2. Take Culture Lessons
While you learn Mandarin Chinese and take other equivalent lessons, you should also familiarize yourself with the local customs and cultural norms. Particularly if you are doing business in the country, you can seriously offend someone simply because of your ignorance of the other person’s culture. Expats do not live in bubbles. You will have to interact with locals on a daily basis, and you won’t be able to do this without educating yourself regarding the local culture.
3. Read Tourist Guides
While you are at it, learn about the country’s history and attractions by reading a tourist guide. By no means will tourist guides provide comprehensive information regarding a country’s culture and population. But, tourist guides are a good starting point to become familiar with a country. Read tourist guides, but don’t act like a tourist.
4. Talk to Other Expats
The mist suited people to give you advice regarding your new country will be other expats. Therefore, you should make it a priority to get in touch with other expats in the country you are moving to. Search online for expat forums, seek local community groups or seek help from your embassy there. The point is, they will provide valuable information regarding renting, buying, moving and living in general.
All in all, the best thing you can do as an expat is to be respectful of the cultures in the country you are moving to. You don’t want to be another foreign tourist, you’d want the people to accept you. If you isolate yourself from the local community and never educate yourself about anything regarding the local culture and language, you will make yourself vulnerable to resentment and ignorance. Being an expat in Asia is an amazing opportunity for personal as well as professional enrichment. Therefore, don’t let this opportunity to go to waste.