7 Problems English Native Speakers Face While Working Abroad
So it’s time to take the plunge and teach abroad? Well here are some of the most common issues EFL teachers face when teaching in a non-native English speaking country.
According to last year’s Expat Insider, apart from love and better quality of life, finding a job abroad is among the top three reasons for English native speakers to leave their home country. What jobs do they choose overseas? About 23% are already retired, the rest successfully find career opportunities outside the home country. Among employed immigrants, about 29% report that their job is somehow linked to education. Many specialists find opportunities to teach students in a school, college, or university.
Also, about 7% work as freelancers. They engage in writing, design, IT, and many other fields. Many freelance writers relocating find remote opportunities at such services as EssayPro; in such a way they remain free in terms of traveling. Some find jobs at freelance platforms; others prefer remote positions.
About 81% of people who have left their home country are generally satisfied with their life abroad. Moreover, about 44% are willing to stay in their respective host countries forever. Does this mean that working abroad is actually better? It might be the case for some. However, there are some problems that we are going to discuss in this article.
Since not too many English native speakers can boast of knowing several languages, it is quite natural that the biggest issue is the local tongue. Without a doubt, knowing the language of the host country is vital for survival. However, it takes time and lots of effort to master it.
Despite this fact, a large share of the citizens living overseas speak the local language of the country they live in at least a little. Moreover, around 22% even claim that they know it quite well.
Your English May Not Be Understood
Native English speakers’ language often turns out to be incomprehensible for local people. This may sound odd. How can a person who has English as a mother tongue fail to be understood in English? Yet, that’s true.
With such communication breakdowns in mind, we have one more problem faced by native speakers who work or want to start working overseas. In many cases, they are missing out on plenty of business and job opportunities. Indeed, it is much easier to work with someone who is on the same page as you. That is why many employers will hire a local specialist instead of an English speaker.
At all times, switching to a new job requires overcoming a learning curve. However, going for different position in another country may get you through a much steeper curve. This is something one should be ready for.
Lack of Support
While being in our native environment, we receive enough support from family and friends that helps us get through hard times. However, relocating to a different environment, one may not get the support needed. Thus, most expats must tackle the issues that come along the way on their own, which is much harder.
This is another significant problem often faced by native speakers in other countries. According to the Migration Policy Institute, the states that host many expats include France, Germany, and Israel. In each of these destinations, specialists may find that the same positions are paid less than in the UK. However, it is worth noting that the cost of living is lower as well. Thus, lower incomes rarely cause serious inconvenience.
Speaking of employment abroad, it is impossible not to mention how cultural difference can influence one’s experience. In the workspace, the cultural gap between you and the colleagues can cause certain misunderstanding and some troubles. However, this can be avoided with a bit of flexibility, empathy, and mutual respect.
Changing a Routine That You Are Used To
Most of us have special daily habits that help in staying productive and feeling comfortable. This is a part of a person’s comfort zone, and stepping out can be rather challenging. Starting a new life in a different environment means that a person will have to adapt to new surroundings. This will most likely involve changing the routine.
Choosing to relocate is always a serious step, especially if you are planning to move to a different country. The path of integration into a new society and workspace is not a quick process. Chances are, you are going to come across some troubles before settling in. However, one can easily overcome all these problems with a bit of patience, effort, and dedication!
Getting a job abroad will definitely take you out of the comfort zone, but it isn’t a bad thing. Approach it as a great kick start for becoming a better member of the international community, and you will succeed!