Tap to Read ➤

9 Real-life Challenges Only Expatriates Can Relate To

Meghna Tongiya Jun 30, 2019
Being an expatriate can be really thrilling and exciting. Life is full of travel, meeting new people, experiencing new cultures; but, being an expatriate has its own pros and cons too, and sometimes, even buying a small pack of cookies can prove to be a mighty task.


Living in a different country, expatriates do miss their roots. Homesickness is an obvious problem faced by them. A new place, new people, and a new culture does make a person feel lonely and alone.

Communication Barrier

This is a major challenge which most expatriates face. Most of the time, they need to learn the native language of the country where they are staying. Learning the language is not enough; speaking it correctly becomes even a tougher challenge.

Social-Cultural Differences

"When in Rome, do as the Romans" - Expatriates may feel like a fish out of water in a different country. They are bound to adapt to the social and cultural differences they face in a foreign land. From food to traditions, everything differs. Why! Even the electricity volts differ.


This issue is faced by female expatriates. There are some countries where females are not given an equal status as men, and certain clothes are not allowed. Also, some countries have a high crime rate. Female expatriates should take care of all these.


Finding a house can be a big challenge for an expatriate.
Getting a place which is decent enough to live in, and also something which is affordable, can be wearisome. Another problem is that, many locals are reluctant in renting or selling their property to expatriates, because they do not fully trust them.


At times, simple paperwork can take ages to get completed. It can be really tedious to open bank accounts or get a driver's license, for an expatriate.


Different countries have different taxation policies for expats. Sometimes, they need to pay double the tax, like in the US, where you have to pay taxes of the country in which you are currently residing, and US taxes as well.

Cost of Living

Expatriates often have to bear a higher cost of living in other countries than their native place. Most expatriates relocate for work reasons, because they get paid more. But many a time, their salary falls short of their expenses.


Socialization challenges are usually faced by expatriates. Natives of a country are often adamant against bonding with a foreigner. Expats can find it pretty difficult to make friends in a foreign place.