5 Things to Consider Before Accepting a Job Abroad

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Written By Charlotte Miller

Accepting a job abroad is one of the best ways to advance your career, develop new skills, and get valuable international experience. The benefits will extend to your personal life because you will get the chance to immerse yourself in a new culture and develop new connections. However, there could be downsides too. Uprooting your life is never easy, so you must carefully evaluate the advantages and disadvantages.  

Here are five things to consider before accepting a job in a foreign country. 

1. The Cost of Living

There’s a huge disparity in terms of salaries and cost of living between countries. Looking only at the salary is not enough to tell if you will be able to live comfortably abroad. Earning more abroad does not mean much if you have to pay significantly more for housing or transportation. To make the best financial decision, do the math in advance to ensure the salary /cost of living ratio works in your favor. 

Are you looking to move to a place with a higher cost of living? Some employers are willing to provide extra benefits such as housing to international workers to help them manage the high cost of living. 

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2. Health Insurance 

In the United States, health insurance is tied to employment, so Americans tend to worry about their health insurance when switching jobs. In other countries, people rely on the public healthcare system and pay for private insurance only if they wish to do so. Every person has thus different expectations regarding healthcare, depending on their experience in their home country. 

What can you expect if you accept a job abroad? There isn’t a generally valid answer to this question because there are many variables at play. The most important thing to know is that many expats rely on private insurance providers that guarantee worldwide coverage. This is the best overall solution.   

The IMG medical insurance plans are ideal for expats and their families. They include comprehensive coverage for all types of medical emergencies. You can move anywhere in the world, knowing that you and your family will always have protection that is not dependent on a foreign employer. 

3. The Language Barrier

Expats and international workers often experience a language barrier at work or in their everyday lives. If you’re not fluent in the local language, everything you do, from sharing a joke with coworkers to filing taxes, can be a real challenge. Unless you’re moving to another English-speaking nation, you cannot overlook the language aspect.

Is your employer offering language lessons? Are you going to be part of an international team at work? Is the city or country known as being expat-friendly? Consider these issues before making your decision. 

4. The Work Culture  

The attitude towards work can vary drastically from one country to another. Some countries like Japan, the United States, and South Korea exhibit signs of workaholism, according to numerous statistics. Meanwhile, Scandinavian and Mediterranean countries are known for their work-life balance. Moreover, some countries value creativity and out-of-the-box thinking, whereas others value punctuality and discipline.  

Before accepting a job abroad, learn as much as possible about the work culture to determine if you would fit in. Are you willing to do overtime? How much vacation do you consider necessary for your well-being? Do you prefer to work independently or in an environment with a great team spirit? 

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5. Taxes 

Discussions about taxes can give expats and international workers headaches. From a legal perspective, their situation is very complex. If you move abroad, do you still owe taxes in your home country? Are the salaries you see in job postings gross or net? How much can you expect to pay in taxes if you’re single or have children?  

When you move abroad, you gain temporary residency status which makes you liable for taxation. At the same time, you may also owe taxes in your home country. U. S. citizens are among the few people who must continue to pay taxes in their home country when they’re employed abroad. 

Most countries have double-taxation treaties to solve these problematic issues. Clarify your tax situation to determine if working abroad makes financial sense. In some countries, the income tax can be as high as 60%. If you’re from a country with low taxation, it can be a real shock to see how much others pay. Learning more about personal finance can help you make the best long-term decision. 

Final Words 

Moving abroad for a job opportunity can change your life in innumerable ways. Unfortunately, bureaucracy is a real obstacle that all expats and international workers face. Many people feel discouraged learning how much paperwork they have to do. If you think you have the motivation and the patience to go through the relocation process, accepting a job abroad can be an excellent decision.