Learning, Working and doing business in a foreign country

20th October 2020

Happy New Week everybody.

This week we continue with our musings in the month long October 2020 dubbed, “I am a citizen of the world.”- living, loving and working in a foreign country. This week we are on to Learning, Working and Doing Business in a Foreign Country.

So why do many seek Learning opportunities outside their country of origin?

It is an opportunity to seek quality world class education in your area of interest that may not be available in your country of origin.
Sometimes an international education and experience may put one above the pack when pursuing job opportunities in comparison to those candidates that have only local education and experience.
It pushes one out of the comfort zone of the known and the familiar especially when one has to travel and live abroad.
It is an opportunity to experience a different culture, make foreign friends and connections.
It may also present an opportunity to learn a new language.

Some key things to consider when seeking an education in a foreign or foreign allied education institution are as follows;

  1. The global accreditation of the learning institution. You do not want to spend your hard earned money and time of your life only to find out that you have worthless papers outside that country.
  2. The courses offered.
  3. The culture of the country and the learning institution.
  4. If not on a scholarship, the anticipated total costs and how they will be met. Sadly, many international students run out of funds and some end up not completing their studies on account of this, as basic survival becomes now their mission in a foreign country.
  5. The language of instruction. In some countries it might mean one learning a foreign language all together before embarking on ones studies there. In countries like Kenya, the U.S.A , the U.K., English a universal language is their language of instruction.
  6. Visa regulations -Ones visa should be updated from time to time as required by law of the foreign country. One does not want to find themselves in the unfavourable situation, being a fugitive in a foreign country.
  7. Weather and clothing required.
  8. Electronic devices for communication and study.
  9. Culture shock and homesickness.

What about working or doing business in a foreign country?

Gone are the days when one had to spend all their career in only their country of origin or only did business in their domestic locality.

More and more people are seeking work and business opportunities abroad.

So when should one consider expanding their business to an international market?

When your product or service is a novelty or unavailable in the country that you are targeting.
When your product or service is cheaper than local alternatives.
Consider too going international if going international is more profitable than expanding locally.

The following are factors to bear in mind when going into global business;

Cultural and time differences between the country of origin of the business and the foreign country.
One must be aggressive in sales so as to penetrate the local market.
Visit the foreign country and study its potential market.
Appreciate legal requirements and local laws governing doing business in the foreign country.
Acquaint oneself with tools needed for finance when exporting and importing items e.g. Letters of Credit.
For more tips on starting a business please have a look at our recent blog post on creating a business plan

If considering working abroad, ensure that the job, the organization and the country that you are considering relocating to are a good fit for you.

For more factors to bear in mind when considering working in a foreign country please have a look at our previous blog post

If considering doing business in a foreign country do avoid countries with the following characteristics;

  1. Where your life as a foreigner or as an expatriate is in danger.
  2. Politically unstable.
  3. Economically unstable.
  4. Cultures and norms that may violate laws in your country of origin.
  5. Intellectual and property rights are not respected.
  6. Rule of law does not work.

This brings an end to the week where we at www.wachanikwambie.com blog. Kenya looked at some considerations to bear in mind when learning, working or doing business in a foreign country.

Next week, we will explore the world of intercultural/ international romance.

A lovely week ahead is wished to all.
‘Wacha niKwambie’
October 2020 – I am a citizen of the world
Living, loving and working in a foreign country.

© Kwambie Nyambane,
October 2020.