Working abroad is an enticing prospect. Wages can be higher, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. New experiences, new cultures, and the potential to meet new people all rank highly on the list of reasons to take a job on foreign soil. Staying healthy abroad can sometimes be tricky, but these tips should help.
5 Tips for staying healthy when working abroad
#1 Check your insurance
Travel insurance when working abroad is essential for holidaymakers, but too many people overlook insurance when they’re moving to a different country for work. You almost certainly won’t be covered by your existing insurance, so always check and take out a new policy where necessary. Different countries have wildly divergent healthcare policies, and that applies especially to people coming in to work. Don’t just presume that you’re covered. Check, and then check again.
#2 Research employee rights
Following on from the previous point, there isn’t a blanket, global charter of employee rights. No two countries are the same, so it’s vitally important that you check what you’re entitled to. Sick days, maternity leave and mental health support are all areas of interest. Find out how much time off you’re entitled to (long periods without holidays can lead to stress and even depression) and generally look into how the company cares for its employees. A little research early on will make a big difference.
#3 Consider repatriation services
A medical deportation company like Allista covers migrant workers if the worst happens. If you’re unfortunate enough to suffer a severe or even life-threatening injury, then timely medical treatment becomes essential. Not all hospitals are equipped to deliver that, and if your insurance doesn’t match up, then you could be in big trouble. Medical repatriation ensures smooth passage for injured workers to return home where they can receive the medical treatment they need, surrounded by family and friends. Most people try to avoid thinking about the worst-case scenario, but cover means peace of mind.
#4 Embrace the change
Mental health can be a problem when you relocate to a new country. Separation from family, friends, and familiarity can all have a negative effect, but it’s important to embrace it rather than reject the change. Meet new people. Explore the city. Join groups and take part in activities. The quicker you make the new country your home, the quicker you’ll adapt. Shutting yourself away can lead to all kinds of problems, including depression, anxiety, and loneliness. It’s best to start early, so try to get out there straight away.
#5 Don’t overwork
It can be tempting, when you arrive in a new place, to throw yourself so thoroughly into your job that you lose sight of everything else. With few friends and your family far away, there’s a risk that your job can take over your life, but that only leads to problems. Working too hard inevitably leads to burnout and stress, which both take their toll. It might seem difficult, but try to retain a work-life balance that leaves time for yourself and your social life.