Typically, employers send their expatriates on a “Look & See Visit” or a “Pre-Assignment Trip” before these foreign service employees set sails for their destination.
These trips aren’t meant as vacations and should be taken seriously by expats. There is a lot to be accomplished during these days and ideally, employers contract with destination services agents to guide their expats at the host location. Maria Foley wrote a nice 101 article with some of the most important tasks expats should complete before and during their Look & See.
An international assignment is an exciting proposition, offering the chance for career advancement, travel, and a new way of life. There’s a lot to consider before signing the contract, though, and most prospective expats carefully weigh the pros and cons before committing to the move.
The good news: you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to resources that can help you make this life-changing decision. Books, websites, and videos are invaluable sources of information. Cross-cultural training can help you establish realistic expectations of life abroad, guide you through the stages of culture shock, and provide an overview of your destination.
I think one of the most helpful tools throughout the decision-making process, though, is the look-see visit.
Do your homework
Let’s be clear: the look-see isn’t a sightseeing trip; it’s a reconnaissance mission. Its purpose is to give you a greater awareness of daily life in your new country…
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