Expats: health and well-being abroad

Experiences abroad are very enriching and allow expats to grow not only professionally but also personally, build bridges and acquire the deeper understanding of a foreign culture. If everything is well prepared, an intercultural experience of this kind is highly recommended.


Expats: health and well-being abroad


The increasing interconnectedness of our modern society means that more and more people are working abroad for shorter or longer periods of time. A 2021 study cites Taiwan, Mexico and Costa Rica as particularly good places to live for expats venturing abroad for work reasons.

The term "expat" or expatriate refers to professionals or managers who work internationally and are temporarily posted abroad.

Posted workers do not always have the option of choosing the country themselves. However, when this is the case, several factors play a role in the decision, with health and well-being at the top of the list. If we look at the health category, Austria ranks third after Japan and South Korea, although India has the most hospitals and Georgia has the most doctors in the world.

Germany is a stable country with many job opportunities, which is appreciated but scores poorly in the acclimation category. Among other things, it's about friendships, friendliness and the feeling of being at home; and it's precisely in these areas that Germany doesn't score very well.

It is also interesting to note that around 80% of Millennials would like a temporary job abroad to gain experience. Until a few years ago, companies had to lure their workers abroad with special benefits, but this has now changed.

When we explore the question of what aspects to pay particular attention to in terms of expat health and well-being, we must note that so-called hardship countries are particularly challenging. These include Nigeria, India, China, Colombia or Vietnam, among others.

Expats: health and well-being

Not only as soon as the first stress of moving to the new country is over, expats should take care of various aspects that form the basis for their health and well-being.

It is important to be adequately informed beforehand. First and foremost, there is the question of what kind of health care system the chosen country offers and how efficient it is. In general, health care is better in countries with more financial resources, although costs are also correspondingly higher.

Countries such as Norway, the Netherlands and Australia have the best healthcare systems in the world. The U.S., a country where a large number of expats reside, ranks last, according to The Commonwealth Fund's Health Care System Performance Rankings.

The Euro Health Consumer Index provides information on the best European healthcare systems, a list topped by Switzerland, the Netherlands and Norway.

However, even in these countries, which have excellent health care systems, it is important to first determine whether the home country's public health insurance system provides adequate coverage. Within the EU, the European health insurance card is valid, but in other countries the situation is a bit more complicated.

International insurance

Therefore, for expats, appropriate insurance is essential and mandatory in many countries to protect their health and well-being. In this context, it is essential to keep in mind that expatriate health insurance in Dubai is not the same as in London or China. Insurance should not only cover outpatient medical costs, treatment costs for any hospitalization and preventive checkups, but also include repatriation insurance so that expats can be brought back with appropriate medical transport in the event of an emergency.

Outside the European Union, private health cover is definitely recommended to be on the safe side. It should be taken into account that there are also special insurance policies for long-term stays.

The mental health of expats

Furthermore, it should be taken into account that psychological problems could also arise. The new challenge, a foreign culture and the integration into the unknown everyday life are not always easy. The initial dream of starting over can not only lead to adjustment problems, but also have more serious consequences. These include depression due to a lack of integration and cultural and social differences, professional failure or family problems and other psychological burdens.

The following tips can help prevent psychological effects:

  • Other countries, other customs. Even before starting the new adventure, it is important to be well informed about culture, customs and traditions. While different traditions and behaviors can be very interesting and appealing, they can also lead to culture shock. Thorough preparation is therefore the best prerequisite to understand other ways of thinking and to be successful abroad.
  • Finally, on site it is important to feel social contacts in order to feel comfortable in the foreign country. Expat communities are very helpful and offer support, but it should not stop there. Understanding and integration are only possible through contact and exchange with locals who include expats in their own culture and make them feel they belong.
  • To socialize with locals, recommend recreational activities that are fun to do. They offer the best opportunity to get to know the culture and views of the hosts better in relaxed company.

Experiences abroad are very enriching and allow expats to grow not only professionally but also personally, build bridges and acquire the deeper understanding of a foreign culture. If everything is well prepared, an intercultural experience of this kind is highly recommended.

Like this post? Please share to your friends:
Leave a Reply

;-) :| :x :twisted: :smile: :shock: :sad: :roll: :razz: :oops: :o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :grin: :evil: :cry: :cool: :arrow: :???: :?: :!: