Here are some ways to overcome language barriers when moving abroad

Many workers seek job opportunities outside their home country despite the perceived language barrier challenge. Now more than ever, companies allow employees to work their complete schedules with remote work policies. This has opened up opportunities for employees to consider international relocation options as they no longer have to be in the office daily. 

But moving abroad isn’t always seamless, and there are some obstacles to overcome before enjoying life in the new destination. When heading to a new country, the test of learning the native language looms large. But this shouldn’t stop employees from relocating to the country they always wanted to live in. Expat numbers have risen recently, with remote work positions becoming the norm. 

CEOWorld says the number of expatriates living globally has grown by over 4.7% annually. It is projected to continue doing so in the coming years. This is likely due to the higher employment rate in the EU, where citizens living in a different EU country had a 73.1% employment rate compared to those in their country of origin, with 72.4%. This suggests that individuals are willing to overcome language barriers to benefit from better job and salary opportunities.

It is important not to downplay the difficulties of a language barrier. Such a barrier can cause many problems in both personal and professional life. Working with a relocation management company that can provide language service resources is a good idea when moving abroad. Overcoming these issues with extra effort and the right mindset is possible. Read on to learn more.

Relieve Culture Shock

Connecting with other cultures can be difficult, particularly in formal settings with power dynamics. According to TIBR studies, expat faculty and employees often face racism and hurtful comments, resulting in an even greater divide between locals and outsiders during the Covid-19 pandemic. To ease these tensions and build relationships, it is crucial to be open-minded and take the initiative to initiate contact. It is also possible that your coworkers are just as nervous as you are.

Language Services Help Cut Down on Frustration

Misunderstandings are a natural part of travel and international relocation, and locals may find it challenging to remain patient when simple errors could have been avoided with more language knowledge. Understanding a language is complex and can be discouraging when you don’t make the progress you’d like. Even professional diplomats, who are prepared for culture shocks, can be overwhelmed. Learning a language isn’t just about understanding grammar and vocabulary; there is much more to it.

Understanding a community’s underlying characteristics, such as demographics, personalities, and beliefs, is essential. Maryville University’s guide on international studies and relations explains that learning a language gives an individual a broader perspective on humanity and culture which supports them in gaining a more profound grasp of their new home faster. This change can help replace any frustration with success.

Lack of consistency in an employee’s work

The inability to communicate effectively can have serious consequences, particularly for specific jobs requiring high skill levels. For example, a small error in healthcare can have devastating results. Despite this, there is a growing need for international medical professionals to address the exhaustion of local personnel.

When going through the international relocation process, they must receive language and cultural training to succeed in their new environment. Philip Andrew suggests that taking classes online and reading books can help with language barriers, and cross-cultural training can help with cultural awareness. Being an expat can be complex, with challenges such as homesickness and financial insecurity. Still, when one can manage these issues, many rewards and opportunities can be gained, such as increased financial security, new relationships, and treasured memories.

Work with GMS for International Relocation

Global Mobility Solutions specializes in international relocations. We work with the best language service providers in the industry to assist employees with seamless relocation. Our relocation experts will help with document translations and online language training classes for employees and their families. 

Do not let language barriers hold you back from the move you have always wanted to make. GMS can help you and your family. Contact us today to discuss the pre-decision services we provide regarding international relocation.

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Christina oversees Global Business Development for LATAM markets. Christina brings with her over 15 years of experience in helping clients build mobility solutions in a variety of roles such as Relocation Counselor, VP of Global Sales, Manager of Business Development and Strategic Partnership Manager. Christina holds key industry certifications including Global Mobility Specialist with a talent accreditation (GMS-T) and Certified Relocation Professional (CRP) designation from Worldwide ERC. She also holds a 120-hour English as a second language teaching certification (TESOL) and has completed over 400 class hours helping students achieve their fluency goals. Christina’s passion for Duty of Care and Employee Wellbeing has led to countless speaking engagements within the industry and has fueled her own networking group, Women of Global Mobility to inspire and encourage the growth of Women within the industry.

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