Consider the following percentages, provided by the Business Council for International Understanding, of expatriates who return to the US prematurely from a foreign assignment: London 18 percent, Brussels 27 percent, Tokyo 36 percent, and Saudi Arabia 68 percent.
|Exotic beauty isn't enough|
to keep you happy
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For the numbers above, this handbook and those figures are for people posted from a US company to a foreign position. These people probably have different motivations for what they're doing than the average expat — not that I could describe the "average" expat.
So how can you make sure this doesn't happen to you? You don't want to be one of the failed expatriates, do you? In one 2009 study, the author surveyed many expatriates and found that:
[Expatriate] adjustment was greater among international assignees who were culturally intelligent and engaged in proactive behaviors; however, adjustment was lower among expatriates who had strong careerist orientations.In short, you have to want to be an expatriate. You have to want to live and work in another country and you have to learn that country's culture and language. You have to dive right in and try hard to make friends.