Expatriation: Return on experience from a Third Cultural Kid

Planning on moving abroad with your family? The following is an article submitted by a Third Cultural Kid which gives an honest and realistic overview of the experience and the benefits gained from their perspective.

Would you like to live abroad for a while?

"Living abroad can be exciting, as well as terrifying. People surely think of it as a way of escaping their everyday life. But when it comes to confronting the reality of change, their dreams can fade away and they are sometimes disappointed. 

Living abroad means adventure, new style, meeting new people and a new way of thinking and living. It is also best adapted for certain types of people. Not everyone is able to live abroad. You should be open-minded and prepared to be out of your comfort zone. The thirst for adventure and the desire to learn from foreign civilizations should be the main motivations.
if this is not the case, it is useless, and you will waste your time because it is not made for you.
Due to my personal experience abroad, I can really tell you how I felt living abroad, the good aspects and what it brought to me. Nevertheless, there are some aspects that you are never completely prepared for, that can negatively impact your experience.

Firstly, you realize that you imagine the perfect life that you are going to lead. You are sure and certain that it will go well (because why not?). Most of the time you have a conception that is actually far from the reality of the life you will lead there.
The first year is dedicated to discovery. Yet this first year which is supposed to be wonderful is fraught with difficulties. Adapting to a different lifestyle is often difficult, especially if you have never lived in another country before. You must integrate into a new school. Fortunately, there are often other students coming from different countries. I was also able to learn a new language; International schools are wonderful since you go to classes mixed with other nationalities.
If integration can sometimes be difficult at the beginning, at the end you realize that it was an extraordinary experience that you may never live again.

Most of the time you have a quality of life that is not comparable elsewhere. I led a sunny life 3/4 of the year and once a week, I went surfing with my friends. Good weather and weekends sunbathing were part of my daily life. But don’t be fooled, I was in a privileged environment.

I also had the opportunity to discover breathtaking landscapes that you may never see twice in your life.

Your whole daily life is turned upside down from changes. With hindsight, we forget the difficult moments and only remember the best, you make incredible acquaintances and see things that will change your life".

A special thanks to this TCK for sharing their experience.

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Reader Recommendations

"I enjoy reading your blog as it gives very useful information to people like me – working on restarting his/her professional life after a period of expatriation. Your useful tips help to deal with this situation in a stress-free mode and help to methodically face few challenges. I highly recommend Brid’s articles to anyone who knows they have to do something to find a new job, but they don’t know how to do it”.

"During a period of professional reorientation where I needed financing, I used the advice of Brid to write my Skills-Based CV. Thanks to her advice, my Skills-Based CV convinced the financing organization. I highly recommend her articles".

"As an expat myself coming to the end of my current contract and planning to return home to Ireland, I found the article "La Perle Rare", particularly helpful. I will soon be searching for job opportunities. Undoubtedly, I do have to distinguish myself from the crowd. Following the suggestions and advice given by Brid, with self-reflection I discovered that I have an abundance of highly developed soft skills. These are skills I had taken for granted for so long never thinking they would highlight my uniqueness to a potential employer. In the past, my focus was on my qualifications and work experience. Although this focus is important, there is room for self-promotion too. Now, I shall forge ahead with a renewed sense of myself and the confidence to promote my other strengths in interviews. Thank you, Brid. I strongly recommend Brid’s blog to expats who find themselves seeking new job opportunities “. Fiona

"Expatrié lors d’une mission de ma conjointe, j’ai rencontré Brid qui m’a beaucoup aidé et guidé afin de développer mes activités de coach running / renforcement musculaire et de sightrunning, en langue anglaise, en particulier sur mes supports de communication.

Je recommande vivement Brid pour son enthousiasme, son dynamisme et son professionnalisme". Frédéric


"Your content is very inspiring. It helped me a lot. Thank you." Emma

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