Taking up an overseas assignment brings countless thoughts and emotions to people. There are loads of excitement, anticipation, curiosity, and joy in going to a foreign land. At the same time, going overseas to take up a work assignment brings fear, anxiety, doubts, and even loneliness in individuals.

Many employees receive pre-training or orientation in homeland before leaving the country. Organizations from the host country take care to ensure that employees receive complete information about the country, culture, language, people, and work aspects. In spite of this, employees undergo several stress and adjustment problems on taking up work assignment overseas.

Adjustment Problems of Expatriates

Employees face several kinds of adjustment problems in a foreign land. Some common problems include:

Culture shock

Differences in culture, attires, life style, communication patterns, friendship, and association with people cause adjustment problems.

Work related problems

Roles and responsibilities, supervisory and leadership styles or work environment leads to stress and discomfort in employees. Unsupportive boss or organizational climate may lead to several kinds of problems in employees.

Language barriers

This will act as a serious barrier to employees, especially if they are in a job that needs frequent interaction with major stakeholders. In fact, when employees do not understand the local language, dealing with people and issues become an everyday problem.

Climatic conditions

Health and psychological problems crop up due to drastic climatic differences. Employees and families face problems in adjusting to the climate and environmental conditions.


Individuals who take time to establish relationships or find new friends in the host country face several emotional and physical problems.

Lifestyle & Sustenance

At times, expatriates face hurdles due to expensive living conditions, house rent, education, and other factors such as health, food, sports etc. This leads to severe coping problems by the expatriates.


Employees suffer from loneliness or sometimes depression being away from family, friends, or homeland.

If the problems persist and goes overboard for the expatriates to handle, they may consider going back to their home country. Therefore, it is crucial that the employees survive in the foreign land during the first few months of arrival.

Do you like to study the problems of an expatriate in a foreign land? Download this sample questionnaire to use it among expatriates. If required, modify the questionnaire to suit your needs.

Click on link to download questionnaire Questionnaire- Expatriates Adjustment Problems

Did you like the post? Love to hear from you

Reference: https://mro.massey.ac.nz/bitstream/handle/10179/1065/02whole.pdf