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The Ultimate Guide to Expat Mental Health (Video)

Maintaining good mental health abroad
Feb 0

Posted by in Skilled Immigration

There are now over 66.2 million expats worldwide and this is expected to reach 87.5 million by the year 2021. Research has found that expats are 2.5 times more likely to experience anxiety and/or depression than domestic workers. So why is this?

What Are the Top Expat Stressors?

In 2015, Internations conducted a major international survey which identified the top expat stressors:

  • 52% said they miss their personal support network
  • 40% worry about their future finances
  • 26% struggle making new friends
  • 26% struggle with the language barrier
  • 22% suffer from culture shock
  • 15% say their loved ones are unhappy with the move
  • The most common expat problems - infographic

    How to Maintain Good Mental Health While Living & Working Abroad

    Expats work an average of 13.4 more hours than people doing similar jobs at home. Try to avoid overworking and prevent burn-out by switching off the “24-7 business mentality.” Establish a clear work-life balance by not bringing your work phone home and by not checking your email on weekends. Instead, use your free time to socialise and to participate in healthy activities.

    Working abroad can be isolating, so be sure to dedicate time to making friends. Don’t shy away work events and network groups. Try out apps such as MeetUp to connect with new people.

    Make sure to schedule in time for chatting with your loved ones who still live in your home country. Take the lead on communicating with home and plan regular one-to-one interactions through Skype, social media or on the phone.

    In addition to all of the above, don’t forget to look after your mental health. You can do this by limiting alcohol consumption, getting 8 hours sleep every night and by exercising and eating healthily. What’s more, learn how to recognise the signs of stress and work hard on developing stress management skills.

    Male professional with stressed expression looking at laptop and charts

    Preparing to Move Abroad

    Just 6% of expats are concerned about mental health before relocating. However, taking some simple preparatory steps before you set off can make a big difference to your mental health down the line.

    Research can really help to ease the relocation process. While reading up on your new home, don’t forget to look into ways of making friends, the work & social culture, methods of contacting home and potential stress outlets.

    It’s also important to check in with yourself and know your limits. Keep a journal to help record and recognise your stressors. Get educated by familiarising yourself with the warning signs of stress, anxiety and depression.

    Finding Support Services Abroad

    The number of mental health workers per 100,000 persons ranges from less than 1 in low-income countries to over 50 in high-income countries. It can be even more difficult to find a counsellor that speaks your language. One excellent resource is the International Therapists Directory which contains contact details for English-speaking therapists, counsellors, psychologists, and psychiatrists in more than 50 different countries. Alternatively, you could ask for a referral from your embassy, HR Department or even other expatriates (particularly medical professionals).

    If a face-to-face service is not an option, you may want to consider e-counselling. These are online services that allow you to connect with specialists in your home country via video-chat. Just be sure to check that the counsellor is licensed and look into the services’ privacy policies.

    Video: The Ultimate Guide to Expat Mental Health

    To learn more about how to look after your mental health during a move abroad, take a look at our video below.

    Everything You Need to Know about Finding a Job Abroad (Infographic)

    featured image
    Oct 0

    Posted by in Skilled Immigration

    As the famous journalist, Charles Kuralt once quipped: “If you really want to learn about a country, work there.” Working abroad is a wonderful opportunity to truly immerse yourself in a different culture. However for most people, finding employment can be one of the most daunting parts about moving abroad.

    Without the connections, local knowledge and language, it can be difficult for migrants to navigate the tricky waters of job-hunting and the corporate world. Fortunately, advancements in technology mean that it has never been easier to find work overseas. In our latest infographic, we provide practical tips on how to use the internet and word of mouth to find your next dream job abroad.

    If you are researching from home, your first port of call should be an international job search engine. Some good examples include: Indeed, SimplyHired and CareerJet. These global databases have listings for jobs in many countries and usually include a variety of language options.

    America, the original “Land of Opportunity” is easily the most popular choice for Canadians seeking a move abroad. Those planning to immigrate into the United States may want to consider using one of the jobs sites specific to the country. Some popular options include Career Builder, Careers.org and HotJobs.

    Word of mouth is also a powerful tool for jobseekers. If possible, take advantage of your professional network to discover connections who may be able to help you find a position. Alternatively, leverage virtual word of mouth by joining a professional online network such as LinkedIn or whatever the preferred platform is in the region. This will enable you to contact companies and recruiters and to build your general understanding of the local jobs market.

    Read the infographic below to learn more about how to find a job abroad.

    The Worlds Most Expensive Cities

    Jun 0

    Posted by in Skilled Immigration

    When considering moving to a new city there is so much to consider. Even if you have a good job lined up, you have to (more…)

    Improving the Canadian Experience Class

    Nov 0

    Posted by in Skilled Immigration, Uncategorized

    Ottawa, November 8, 2013 — Today, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander announced changes to improve the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) so that the program continues to attract top quality candidates.

    The Canadian Experience Class has allowed more than 25,000 people to stay in Canada permanently to contribute their skills and talents,” said Alexander. “The government is taking concrete action to reduce backlogs and processing times. By making these changes to the Canadian Experience Class, we are moving toward a more effective and efficient immigration system.

    In order to manage intake, maintain reasonable processing times and prevent a backlog from developing in the CEC, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is introducing an annual cap on the number of new CEC applications. CIC will accept a maximum of 12,000 CEC applications from November 9, 2013, to October 31, 2014.

    Despite the annual cap on applications, the department will admit approximately 15,000 individuals under the CEC in 2014.

    CIC is also seeing an overrepresentation of certain occupations in the program. In order to bring in as diverse a skill set as possible, the department will introduce limits on the number of applications under certain occupations.

    Effective November 9, 2013, CIC will introduce sub-caps of 200 applications each in certain skilled occupations. Also, six particular occupations will no longer be eligible for the CEC.