Canadians Working Abroad

Canadians Working Abroad

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Canadians Working Abroad

Throughout the world there are various ways for business to be conducted. Companies have many options at their discretion; one such way is to send an employee to another country as an expatriate (expat). When an expat is sent from Canada to another country, the company and the expat have various steps to consider before the assignment. The employee will be experiencing another country, learning valuable information about their customs, and practicing foreign business. This information can be brought back to the home country and shared with the rest of the firm in an effort to increase international knowledge. Nevertheless, the expat may experience culture shock, change in living conditions, and varied business practices. In this report we have researched Australia, Singapore, United Kingdom, and Brazil in relation to Canada.
We have discovered many noteworthy facts regarding the five countries we have researched. Australia is favourable to business and expats because of the large economic growth and similarities with the American and Canadian customs. However, the cost of living is somewhat more expensive than in North America. From our research of Singapore we have coined it the "Jewel of Asia"; Singapore is globally connected and very innovative in their business practices. We have found information that convinces us that a potential expat in Singapore will experience a great degree of culture shock. The United Kingdom strength lies in the similarity of access to large companies and local customs to North America. However, for potential female expats there is an evident glass ceiling that will limit the potential growth within a company. Brazil is known for their hospitality and carefree attitude that encourages cultural differences. However, entering the job market is very difficult and requires extensive research and local networking. Expats in Canada my experience varying struggles to adapt depending on where they are from.

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A vital element an expat must understand is they must adapt to the customs of the country they are located. Each country has distinct practices. Because, of this fact an expat should always keep an open mind and do their research before undertaking any assignment for any period of time. Through out this paper, areas of discussion include: company replacement methods of an expat, difficulties experienced by an expat, advantages and disadvantages of being an expat, expectations, and preparation.

Company replacement methods of expats
The majority of companies have expat policies that state the duration of the assignment. Upon completion of the assignment, the expat will return to their home country or be sent to another country (, p.3). Companies may decide to fire expats due to a negative return on investment (ROI). Some expat assignments cost companies three to four times the amount of the expats' salary. Another reason may be if the expat damages a company's reputation and/or brand image (, p.5).
Difficulties Experienced by an Expat
Expats commonly experience culture shock in a new country as a result of unfamiliar surroundings. In Australia, expats may find it difficult to adjust to the diverse food such as meat pies, Vegemite sandwiches, kangaroo fillet, beetroot greens, etc. (, p. 8). In Brazil, it is common for families that live outside of gated communities to have 24 hour guards and electrical fences (Sayegh, par. 10). Canada's cold weather influences driving and clothing requirements.
Some countries still experience a visible glass ceiling. The most evident glass ceilings are in countries like the United Kingdom and Singapore. In these countries women may represent a large portion of the workforce but are unrepresented in management positions. For example, women make up 42% of the workforce in the UK, but there are still very few women in management positions (Acuff, p. 179). Regardless of the countries they move to, expats should expect some stress from being removed from friends and family.
No matter what the destination, health precautions are required. In preparing for an assignment, expats need to plan an appointment with the local International Travel Clinic for an examination and to find out all the vaccinations needed prior to leaving. Each person is assessed on an individual basis. As an expat, the immunization received would be based on the length of stay, the location of stay, and your current health conditions. The clinic also provides current information packages regarding food and water precautions, diseases you may come into contact with, and personal safety tips.
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