Expats – To be happy in a foreign country
Being an expat is a process of changing. You jump into unknown circumstances and lose your landmarks (language, history, informal codes and tradition). So being an expat is not easy. Not only because of all the practical problems, but also because of all the emotional situations that can be involved, such as feeling homesick, loneliness, stress, conflicts at work or in relationships, difficulties in adapting to a new culture, misunderstandings, fear of the future, anxiety, dissatisfaction.
Feeling settled in a new country has a lot to do with how you adapt to the strange and new. There is also a big difference between an expat and a foreigner. Expats usually come over for a pre-defined period of time. The sending company mostly takes care of the moving hassle and the receiving company acts as a social net. So expats generally tend to be absorbed in their social environment rather quickly. For foreigners, it’s a different story. They have to do most of the organizing of the moving themselves and the warm and receptive social network tends to lack. No one knows them, so no one knows what they’re worth. They need to build their life up from scratch. Research shows that foreigners are under considerable stress, they are more prone to mental and physical illnesses, and lower level of income. At practice Expatriate Psychologist I treat both expats and foreigners with psychological problems.
Even though an expat spouse may be a highly educated woman with an impressive resume, in her new home, she is generally not allowed to have a job. This limitation strips her of an important source of social contact, identity, and self-worth. Her identity, which had previously been derived from participation in all sorts of activities is now fully enmeshed in being the wife of a company employee. Perhaps most important is the lack of structure in her day. This contrasts sharply with her husband’s days, which are structured by his job, and the kids’ days, which are structured by school. The best way to describe this is that you feel that your life has come to a standstill.
It is crucial that your child soaks up as much of the other culture as possible, even if you, as a parent do not like some of the aspects. This is why: When children reach puberty they test the value of what has been taught at home against the outside world. If your child has not mingled enough with the local culture, it will be a painful wake up call for him or her. Therefore it is important to determine the best possible education strategy for your child in which you maintain contact with him/her and continue to see your child as a full human being with a personality and aspirations of his/her own. Most children with adaptation difficulties, do not feel secure enough to explore the world. This has a lot to do with remaining loyal to parents and not daring to have an own opinion for fear of losing parental love. So you might ask yourself the question: Do you want deliver an adult to this world that is flexible and secure enough to deal with an ever increasing world, or a person that has your sense of values and your understanding of things? As I am paranormally gifted and strongly work from intuition I am able to identify any issues in the current relationship to your child(ren). I offer you, the expat parent, practical handles and clear instructions to improvement to come to the best education for your child.