by Jerry Kurz
Basing yourself overseas involves momentous change. It can be an adventure, to be sure, but it is not something to take on casually. If you’ve grown up in North America, chances are that your life overseas and even your life after you return will not be much like it was before you set out.
Naturally not all destinations will require the same quantity of preparation and wrenching personal growth; if you start from the United States, China, for example, will be a lot more work than, say, Western Europe. And even within regions there are are vast differences between one capital city and another—you may find it to be a colossal effort to get started in Singapore, but Jakarta, a 90-minute hop across the Java Sea, is something else again.
In most cases the main challenge will be coming to terms with the local culture.
But don’t underestimate the difficulties even if you think the culture and government are similar to what you’re used to!