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How to adapt to expat lifestyle

Thu 17th Jun 2010

How well people adapt to the expatriate lifestyle depends on personality type, a report has stated.

Writing for the Guardian, Dougie Marks believes people who are prone to stress will naturally find it more difficult to settle in to a new life overseas, and may experience health problems such as headaches, insomnia and a lack of concentration.

The writer recommended that being able to call on friends and family for support is vital, but the nature of the expatriate lifestyle could make this hard to do.

"It's important to take time to make friends locally, both expat and native, to unwind with them and share your problems" Mr Marks writes.

While expatriate communities could stop newly arrived expats from integrating in their adopted country, the can also provide a source of immediate support, as many of them will be in the same situation, he noted.

Overcoming the potential stress of life abroad means planning in advance and doing plenty of research to reduce the effects of the culture shock. Prospective expats may also want to take out expatriate health insurance to help with unexpected medical costs.

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