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How to make the most of a deployment working abroad

  •  Posted on Jan 07, 2016  by  | No Comments

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Working_abroadForeign deployments are becoming a highlight of many professionals careers and increased mobility within the EU enables many thousands of fellow Europeans every year to enjoy working in another country and culture with relative ease, moving between offices and countries to meet their counterparts, improve commercial skills in a new linguistic and cultural context and return to their home country months or years later with improved understanding of how their business operates in another country , a more open-minded approach and even new hobbies or interests developed abroad.

 

Last year I was lucky enough to have such an opportunity to work on a 6 month deployment in Belgium and having not lived abroad since my university studies, this was a welcome experience that enabled me to discover many of the benefits mentioned above.

One of the many questions asked about a 6 month or even a 1 year deployment is ‘how do I make the most of my time abroad and what can I do to maximise my chances of benefitting professionally and personally from the experience?’  Hopefully, I can shed a little light on this!

1)Travel but be selective! Even in a small country such as Belgium it’s difficult to get to know a whole country in 6 months, so draw up a list of cities and towns you haven’t visited before and are at a suitable distance away to be able to enjoy them.

2)Get involved in local sporting events. One of the best ways to discover a country as well as have a social experience and to get to speak to locals is to participate in sports events, it could be a half-marathon, cycle race, or walking club. It’s also a great way to see parts of the country or city in which you live that you wouldn’t usually visit.

3)Use your languages or make an effort to learn some local languages. Clearly I’m slightly biased with this one (being fluent in French and Spanish) ,however, using your languages, learning some local expressions or starting to learn the local language from scratch to continue when you return home is one of the longest lasting benefits of a deployment. Not only will you get to discover more of the ‘real’ country but you’ll probably improve your vocabulary too.  I’m probably likely to get a few perplexed looks from French colleagues or friends when I’m referring to an event in the “années nonante”* or an announcement by the local “Bourgmestre”* in future though !

4)Try the local food and drink. As obvious as this may seem, trying local dishes and regional specialities is a delicious way to discover a country with it’s local ingredients, popular favourites and culinary traditions. You might learn a few new recipes for your return home too. If you’re in Belgium ( or a country with a long brewing /wine growing /distilling  tradition make sure to enjoy this advice in moderation ! )

5)Ask the locals or local colleagues. Keep your ears peeled for the hidden bars, restaurants and local hangouts that only the locals know, furthermore, if you return years down the line for nostalgic visits of your time abroad you’ll have plenty of places to return to.

6)Know the history of place you’re staying. Understanding the history of the country or culture will likely come in handy and is a good way of surprising locals or your colleagues, it also show you respect them and are interested in place you’re staying in. It can also lead to some fascinating conversations and maybe even visits to new places ( castles, museums, historic monuments etc….)

To sum up , it’s important to take advantage of the diversity and differences of the place you’re deployed to and , as in other travel , appreciate these aspects and to come back having gained a better understanding of the country, culture, language and traditions. You never know when your experience will be useful for you in future.

*Belgian French terms for the 1990s and Mayor respectively !


Author: Oliver  
Consultant – Permanent Translation

Speaks:

French flagBritish flag Spanish Flag

Connect with Oliver on LinkedIn here.

Do you want to be part of it? Check out our careers page!

We are the leading multilingual recruitment consultancy in Europe this is what we found to be the top 25 CV tips for anyone looking for a new role... Click to read![:de]

Working_abroadForeign deployments are becoming a highlight of many professionals careers and increased mobility within the EU enables many thousands of fellow Europeans every year to enjoy working in another country and culture with relative ease, moving between offices and countries to meet their counterparts, improve commercial skills in a new linguistic and cultural context and return to their home country months or years later with improved understanding of how their business operates in another country , a more open-minded approach and even new hobbies or interests developed abroad.

 

Last year I was lucky enough to have such an opportunity to work on a 6 month deployment in Belgium and having not lived abroad since my university studies, this was a welcome experience that enabled me to discover many of the benefits mentioned above.

One of the many questions asked about a 6 month or even a 1 year deployment is ‘how do I make the most of my time abroad and what can I do to maximise my chances of benefitting professionally and personally from the experience?’  Hopefully, I can shed a little light on this!

1)Travel but be selective! Even in a small country such as Belgium it’s difficult to get to know a whole country in 6 months, so draw up a list of cities and towns you haven’t visited before and are at a suitable distance away to be able to enjoy them.

2)Get involved in local sporting events. One of the best ways to discover a country as well as have a social experience and to get to speak to locals is to participate in sports events, it could be a half-marathon, cycle race, or walking club. It’s also a great way to see parts of the country or city in which you live that you wouldn’t usually visit.

3)Use your languages or make an effort to learn some local languages. Clearly I’m slightly biased with this one (being fluent in French and Spanish) ,however, using your languages, learning some local expressions or starting to learn the local language from scratch to continue when you return home is one of the longest lasting benefits of a deployment. Not only will you get to discover more of the ‘real’ country but you’ll probably improve your vocabulary too.  I’m probably likely to get a few perplexed looks from French colleagues or friends when I’m referring to an event in the “années nonante”* or an announcement by the local “Bourgmestre”* in future though !

4)Try the local food and drink. As obvious as this may seem, trying local dishes and regional specialities is a delicious way to discover a country with it’s local ingredients, popular favourites and culinary traditions. You might learn a few new recipes for your return home too. If you’re in Belgium ( or a country with a long brewing /wine growing /distilling  tradition make sure to enjoy this advice in moderation ! )

5)Ask the locals or local colleagues. Keep your ears peeled for the hidden bars, restaurants and local hangouts that only the locals know, furthermore, if you return years down the line for nostalgic visits of your time abroad you’ll have plenty of places to return to.

6)Know the history of place you’re staying. Understanding the history of the country or culture will likely come in handy and is a good way of surprising locals or your colleagues, it also show you respect them and are interested in place you’re staying in. It can also lead to some fascinating conversations and maybe even visits to new places ( castles, museums, historic monuments etc….)

To sum up , it’s important to take advantage of the diversity and differences of the place you’re deployed to and , as in other travel , appreciate these aspects and to come back having gained a better understanding of the country, culture, language and traditions. You never know when your experience will be useful for you in future.

*Belgian French terms for the 1990s and Mayor respectively !


Author: Oliver  
Consultant – Permanent Translation

Speaks:

French flagBritish flag Spanish Flag

Connect with Oliver on LinkedIn here.

Do you want to be part of it? Check out our careers page!

We are the leading multilingual recruitment consultancy in Europe this is what we found to be the top 25 CV tips for anyone looking for a new role... Click to read![:zh]

Working_abroadForeign deployments are becoming a highlight of many professionals careers and increased mobility within the EU enables many thousands of fellow Europeans every year to enjoy working in another country and culture with relative ease, moving between offices and countries to meet their counterparts, improve commercial skills in a new linguistic and cultural context and return to their home country months or years later with improved understanding of how their business operates in another country , a more open-minded approach and even new hobbies or interests developed abroad.

 

Last year I was lucky enough to have such an opportunity to work on a 6 month deployment in Belgium and having not lived abroad since my university studies, this was a welcome experience that enabled me to discover many of the benefits mentioned above.

One of the many questions asked about a 6 month or even a 1 year deployment is ‘how do I make the most of my time abroad and what can I do to maximise my chances of benefitting professionally and personally from the experience?’  Hopefully, I can shed a little light on this!

1)Travel but be selective! Even in a small country such as Belgium it’s difficult to get to know a whole country in 6 months, so draw up a list of cities and towns you haven’t visited before and are at a suitable distance away to be able to enjoy them.

2)Get involved in local sporting events. One of the best ways to discover a country as well as have a social experience and to get to speak to locals is to participate in sports events, it could be a half-marathon, cycle race, or walking club. It’s also a great way to see parts of the country or city in which you live that you wouldn’t usually visit.

3)Use your languages or make an effort to learn some local languages. Clearly I’m slightly biased with this one (being fluent in French and Spanish) ,however, using your languages, learning some local expressions or starting to learn the local language from scratch to continue when you return home is one of the longest lasting benefits of a deployment. Not only will you get to discover more of the ‘real’ country but you’ll probably improve your vocabulary too.  I’m probably likely to get a few perplexed looks from French colleagues or friends when I’m referring to an event in the “années nonante”* or an announcement by the local “Bourgmestre”* in future though !

4)Try the local food and drink. As obvious as this may seem, trying local dishes and regional specialities is a delicious way to discover a country with it’s local ingredients, popular favourites and culinary traditions. You might learn a few new recipes for your return home too. If you’re in Belgium ( or a country with a long brewing /wine growing /distilling  tradition make sure to enjoy this advice in moderation ! )

5)Ask the locals or local colleagues. Keep your ears peeled for the hidden bars, restaurants and local hangouts that only the locals know, furthermore, if you return years down the line for nostalgic visits of your time abroad you’ll have plenty of places to return to.

6)Know the history of place you’re staying. Understanding the history of the country or culture will likely come in handy and is a good way of surprising locals or your colleagues, it also show you respect them and are interested in place you’re staying in. It can also lead to some fascinating conversations and maybe even visits to new places ( castles, museums, historic monuments etc….)

To sum up , it’s important to take advantage of the diversity and differences of the place you’re deployed to and , as in other travel , appreciate these aspects and to come back having gained a better understanding of the country, culture, language and traditions. You never know when your experience will be useful for you in future.

*Belgian French terms for the 1990s and Mayor respectively !


Author: Oliver  
Consultant – Permanent Translation

Speaks:

French flagBritish flag Spanish Flag

Connect with Oliver on LinkedIn here.

Do you want to be part of it? Check out our careers page!

We are the leading multilingual recruitment consultancy in Europe this is what we found to be the top 25 CV tips for anyone looking for a new role... Click to read![:]

 
 

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