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Why Expatriate Spouse are Experts in change?

Are you an Expat partner? Do you often feel neglected and underappreciated in comparison to the success of your respective partners? We know that you are the ones who play a key role in supporting your partners through the period of transition and change from your home country to the host country. You are the experts in change, resilience and adaptation.

I would like to share an interesting story of Kirti, one of our “Absolus” from Absolutely French. Kirti is an Expat spouse who accompanied her husband from Bangalore, India. Her husband is an IT engineer in a big multinational company. Coming to France was a big step for her. She was unaware of the culture, did not speak the language and had no friends in France. However, within six months of coming to France, she made an effort to learn some basic French, started volunteering in a nearby community group and made herself a few friends who were all in a similar situation like hers. Of Course it was not easy. She went through a lot before becoming an expert. We would like to say that it is a journey in becoming an expert.

Like Kirti there are many of you who encounter similar challenges like some listed below.

Navigating the Unknown

When you move to a new country it is like stepping in the unknown. You are the ones responsible to manage the daunting task of making your family comfortable on the strange land. You face challenges every day to accustom with new culture, language and lifestyle. Every day is a new challenge. From learning the local customs, navigating the official paperwork, finding the right school for their kids, making sure the kids are able to make new friends and the list goes on.

Building bridges across cultures

This is one of the most incredible qualities of Expatriate spouses. You are able to see the benefits and good in local customs and tradition. And show them to your families to understand and appreciate them to make your lives more enjoyable. You foster a cross cultural bond, which is very necessary in today’s world.

Career Evolution

As an expat spouse you choose to keep your careers on the back seat to support your partner’s international assignment. However, it doesn’t mean you stop working. You are constantly learning skills that help you in managing the change in life. Thus, you master the skill of Change Management, a very valuable skill in today’s world.

You learn to adapt to work with the new environments, offer volunteer work in local community projects, often pursue further education. Some of you also start your own business or take up remote work projects.

Networking and Building Support Systems

Leaving all your network behind in the home country, as Expat partners you take up the challenge of building a network from scratch in host countries. Through embracing the qualities like open mindedness and active listening, you are able build new relationships with locals and expat spouses facing similar challenges. This helps you to build a robust network which is invaluable in times of needs.

Overcoming Challenges

There could be various challenges that you face during expatriation. For example, feelings of isolation, homesickness or loss of self-confidence due to career gaps and lack of financial freedom. However with some cultural integration and immersive language training you can face these challenges and overcome them easily. As you learn new things everyday, you develop new skills and emerge victorious from each passing experience. You are becoming a better person everyday.

A Word of Recognition for all of you

At last but not the least we believe that it is crucial to recognise and support “expatriate spouses”. Since, you are the one who often masters the skill by navigating the international landscape to accompany your partner putting yourself on stake. You are experts in change, tremendously valuable to your families and workplaces.

You need to be recognised for all the contribution and support you bring to your families and global workforce. This article is dedicated to you all who are the unsung heroes who dedicated their lives to make their partners international project a success and unconditionally support their families through transition.

Summing up we would like to say that

“You are an expert in Change, Expert in Adaptability, Expert in resilience. You are brave, talented and skillful.”

@AbsolutelyFrench we appreciates the efforts of every Expat spouse :

an Expert in change

Read our other about 'How to be ready about your French Job Interview' here

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