Transportation Abroad

January 20, 2016 / by Lindsay Mullen

map-455769_1280-1Public transit varies from country to country and your assignee will likely have to adapt to a completely new transportation system that’s unlike what they may be used to at home. Learning the local transportation system can be one of the most challenging (and exciting) tasks your assignee will encounter abroad, and it will give them many opportunities to learn more about their new home and even some new vocabulary!  Here are three ways to level your assignee’s expectations and help ease them into their new commute abroad.

Daily Commutes

Mastering the daily commute is a rite of passage for new assignees. Between understanding unique traffic laws and interpreting streets signs in a foreign language, assignees might soon find themselves overwhelmed on their first few commutes to their job abroad. Help them out by providing assignees some travel tips and new phrases they can take to the streets. When an assignee in Finland can confidently ask Missä on Senaatintorin juna? or “Where is the train to the Senate Square?” to a local, they’ll be better equipped to navigate their new home.

Assignees may also add longer commute times into the mix when relocating to a new country. For those in Mumbai, the मुंबई उपनगर रेल्वे or Mumbai Suburban Railway, tends to experience significant delays during peak travel times. Prepare assignees for these delays and offer them fun suggestions on how to pass the time, as well as help to budget for a longer, potentially more expensive commute.

Travel Etiquette

Understanding travel etiquette is crucial when navigating a new country, especially for those who want to pass as a local. While purchasing train passes and bus tickets may come naturally for an assignee abroad, etiquette while traveling will likely be something your assignee has never experienced. Assignees in Munich riding the U-Bahn forgo traditional turnstiles when boarding the train, as the Münchner Verkehrgesellschaft, responsible for running the transport system has passengers use the honor system. However, such a system shouldn’t be taken advantage of—an assignee caught riding without their Fahrkarte (ticket) is liable for a heavy fine. Unfortunately, even a fervent Es tut mir leid won’t be enough to forget the charge.

International Travel

One of the perks for assignees abroad is the opportunity to take advantage of weekend trips and quick getaways. While a trip stateside may require months of planning in advance, assignees located in Russia can expect numerous travel options at their fingertips, from Paris to Beijing. Provide your assignee with international travel options so they can make the most of their experience. For those lucky enough to board the Trans-Siberian Railway, remember to pack your зубная щетка и дополнительные одежды (toothbrush and extra clothes)! Encourage assignees to take advantage of these opportunities—they can be once-in-a-lifetime chances to see incredible areas of the world. However, it’s important for assignees to be careful of international regulations regarding border crossings, and they should be sure to have all visas in order before embarking on their trip.

Getting from place to place shouldn’t be taken for granted. For more information on how assignees can best adjust to their new countries, download the HR Manager’s Toolkit.

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Topics: Corporate

Lindsay Mullen

Written by Lindsay Mullen

Lindsay Mullen is CEO of Prosper Strategies, working behind the scenes to support the Mango team's world of lovable language learning. A language aficionado herself, Lindsay oversees a team of marketers fluent in public relations, content development and strategy (and they speak some German, French, Spanish and Chinese as well.)

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