You’ve accepted a new position with your company. The pay is great, your career is flourishing, and your office nemesis is clearly envious of your new role. The only issue is that the new position is abroad. Whether you’re only taking a short trip to visit our neighbors to the north in Canada or trotting across the globe to Sri Lanka, you’ll have a lot of preparation to do before you relocate. So… what do you do first?
There’s a Cuban idiom that we’re particularly fond of: “le zumba el mango” (“to fling the mango”) that means to be surprised or freak out. If you don’t want to zumba el mango yourself when you relocate, we’ve put together some tips and tricks to help you get ready for your new adventure abroad. Don’t zumba el mango--usa el Mango Languages!
Culture learning is key.
Is your knowledge of South Korea little more than bibimbap and “Gangnam Style”? Take this opportunity to learn about Korean dining etiquette and the history of the Gangnam district in Seoul for a more well-rounded view of your new home’s culture.
Wherever you go, take the time to dive into topics that are important to the country you’ll be staying. Whether that means brushing up on Brazilian footballers or Bollywood starlets, you’ll find that being aware of the pop culture will immediately draw people to you and make it easier to interact when you do arrive in the host location.
Get your papers in order.
Visas can be a nightmare to obtain, and paperwork always takes longer than expected--so if you need to renew your passport or call the local consulate, do so ASAP! Find out exactly what permits you’ll need, whether that’s a work visa or otherwise, and get those off to be processed right away. While you wait, make photocopies of all important documents, in case an unlikely disaster strikes while you’re abroad. This is absolutely the most irritating part of going abroad, but getting it done right away will save you lots of time and hassle--and, if you’re going to Germany, you’ll be rewarded with a bright pink ID card with a hologram of your face. Ausgezeichnet!
Explore your resources.
Get in touch with your company’s global relocation manager or HR department to find out all of the resources that are available for you. You’ll most likely be able to find help with housing, insurance, and banking through your company, and you should start using these resources right away to prepare yourself. But don’t just stop at your company resources: explore your city as well! Going to Addis Ababa? Stop at a local Ethiopian restaurant to savor the flavors and develop your technique for eating with injera. Going to Senegal? Find a foreign film store and pick up a copy of Djibril Diop Mambéty’s classic Hyénes to get acquainted with the sounds of the Wolof language and the Senegalese culture. And visit your local library to get set up with Mango Languages and start getting serious about your language learning!
Want more information on how to make relocation successful? Download our checklist of 10 signs you might be experiencing culture shock for tips and tricks to make adjustment into a new culture smooth and simple!