Being a Foreigner in a Foreign Country

Language in IT Nowadays

Since English is the mother tongue in the IT industry, most people are used to speaking it and this opens the possibility of being anywhere in the world, despite the language. As you grow professionally, the chance of moving to other countries exists and should not be ignored, even if the country isn’t an English-speaking one. But the possibility of working in another country whose language you don’t speak doesn’t sound encouraging to everyone.

Being Fearless in a New Environment

In my case, as a Brazilian, I moved to Argentina with some basic English-speaking skills and no Spanish skills at all. I knew that it would be confusing and complicated at the beginning, but I had no idea how it would work as days went by. Nowadays, technology helps you find information easier and people can understand almost everything. So, don’t be afraid to leave your comfort zone to travel to an unknown place.

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Via Flickr

A New Language

A new environment has an impact on the reality you’re used to, like a new language, customs and even new habits. For example, if you mother tongue is Portuguese, learning Spanish is kind of easy because many words and meanings are similar. If you don’t feel comfortable learning only by talking to others, you can take some classes to speed up the process, but this will depend on how difficult the new language is.

Different Habits

If the language happens to be an easy task to accomplish, maybe the local customs won’t be. Some cultures are very different, and you might be surprised to see that not everything is as you are used to. Even the way people eat can be a novelty to you. They behave or deal with situations in a way that is different from how you would usually react, as determined by your culture. However, no matter how different the other culture is, it is always worth being curious and giving it a go.

Help from the Outside

However, remember that you will probably be assisted by your co-workers or new friends, and that will make the changes easier to deal with. Living in a foreign country allows you to be in direct contact with new situations and see the world from another perspective, and it all contributes to your personal development. In my case, I got a lot of help from my co-workers at Intraway. I learned how to act in unusual situations, and understand the language and, mainly, the company’s business.

Lessons Learned

Some advice in case you have to go to a foreign place: do some research about the country that you’re travelling to. You will find a lot of helpful information. If it’s possible, talk to people from your country that live there. They will know how to guide you in your first steps, with information about food, customs, currency, and other questions that you probably have.

What you should not fear is the new, the discomfort of being in an unfamiliar place, or the dilemma of being different and needing to integrate. Seeing the world from another perspective expands your vision of how cultures can diverge on various issues, and this will certainly change the way you see the future after an experience like that.

In case you enjoyed my blog post and felt inspired to try live abroad, don’t wait until the desire disappears! Search for ways to do it. Tip: Intraway is always looking for good people.

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