Preparing The Expat To Move Abroad


Along with the changing models of expatriations, the profiles of expats themselves have also changed. International assignees are now often more experienced, have greater global acumen and are used to working in multicultural environments. 

Because there is such a great need for expats to prepare themselves and their families for an international move, companies are increasingly providing training opportunities for assignees and their spouses.

According to the Brookfield Global Trends Survey*:

83 percent of companies currently provide formal cross-cultural preparation (the historical average was 80 percent)

  • 52 percent provide preparation for some assignments
  • 31 percent provide preparation for all assignments
  • 17 percent provide no preparation

When training is offered on all assignments:

  • 46 percent is for the entire family
  • 41 percent goes to the employee and spouse
  • 8 percent is for the employee only

A great way for companies to ready their employees for international assignments is the Cultural Navigator’s four International Assignment Learning Paths: Introduction to the International Assignment Topic Area, Understanding Culture, Preparing for Your International Assignment, and Working in a New Country. These Learning Paths help expats through the process of preparing for and adjusting to the work and social environments in their new location.

*Brookfield Global Relocation Services, 2012

Diane McGreal