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"So, here you are. Too foreign for home,

too foreign for here. Never enough for both."  

           Ijeoma Umebinyuo


Experiencing expatriation

Emotional distress you can experience as expatriate may result from many challenges you are confronted with in the new country regarding the professional / educational / familial setting.



  • Language barriers

  • Dealing with culture shock

  • Dealing with relocation anxiety

  • Living away from family, partner or friends

  • Dealing with long periods of separation from the loved ones

  • Repeated goodbye (international friends leaving)

  • Feeling of isolation

  • Adjusting to a new environment

  • Building up a new social network (cultural diversity)

  • Feeling the needs to succeed and to avoid the possibility of expatriation failure

  • Dealing with unresolved matters from the past


Personal challenges


  • Learning to be independent without family and friend direct support

  • Dealing with limited economic resources or short time financing

  • Dealing with uncertainty or concerns about the future


Academic challenges


  • Managing time  

  • Doubts during the studies / writing of thesis

  • Dysfunctional relationship with a professor / colleague / supervisor

  • Lacking of support

  • Finding a new balance between work and leisure

  • Feeling under pressure and experiencing negative stress around the deadlines

  • Keeping up a high level of motivation over the long run

  • Feeling pressure and stress around the deadlines

  • Keeping up a high level of motivation over the long run

  • Dealing with a competitive atmosphere

  • Dealing with own expectations, those of the professors / supervisors, and those of families

  • Dealing with the impostor syndrome

  • Dealing with perfectionism / procrastination


  • Dealing with your new identity: becoming a mother

  • The feeling of not being a ‘good enough’ mother

  • Dealing with a hard-working or travelling partner

  • Lacking of family support and/or no network support (yet).

  • Lacking of medical / psychological support in your mother-tongue

  • Navigating an unfamiliar health care system

  • Having less time or energy to adjust in a new environment

  • Exhaustion


  • Having gave up a job to follow the partner and feeling lost of not having anymore a professional identity

  • Experiencing imbalances due to (lack of) dual career

  • Working conditions can be difficult

  • Dealing with a hard-working or travelling partner

  • Dealing with past / present couple issues

  • Changing family routines

  • Having to adapt to new codes of conduct, educational and social norms adjustment in a new environment of the entire family system (with different challenges for each member).

  • Dealing with daily family stress factors: for example, family planning and transport

  • Having concerns about children adjustment: children attending a new school, children with special needs / gifted children

  • Being / feeling unfamiliar with the schooling system of your expat child

  • Managing new experiences

  • Parental burnout

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