According to the latest survey on Overseas Filipinos, about 2.2 million Filipinos (OFWs) work abroad on temporary contracts. One of the main aspects that keep the Philippine economy afloat are these OFW workers with their remittances¹.
Have you ever considered working abroad and starting a new life in a foreign country? Let’s discuss some pros and cons of the decision to move abroad.
A Fresh Start
Moving to a different country gives you the opportunity to start a new life in a completely new setup. It can be some sort of reset button especially when you’re not happy with your current life. Maybe you’re not satisfied with your job or things in your personal life are not going well or as planned.
One of the main reasons why Filipinos choose to live abroad are the better job opportunities they get by working overseas. Most OFWs can earn more money abroad and as breadwinners for their families, they can send a huge amount of their salaries back home. They are separated from their families so that they can provide their kids with a better future. Another aspect would be better educational opportunities. Studying abroad and thus, living abroad for a while can put an edge on your résumé because it implies to potential employers that you have broadened your perspectives and work well with different kinds of people.
Discover New Places and Meeting New People
Besides being able to discover new places, moving to another country gives you the chance to meet new people and make new friends from different cultural backgrounds. By being exposed to different cultures and ways of life, you’ll learn to be a more open-minded person.
Moving abroad can be very overwhelming in so many ways. A lot of things just work differently in another country and especially at the beginning it’s not easy to adjust to a certain way of life. Cultural differences can be found in living situations, food, bureaucratic paperwork, transportation and social mannerisms.
You might get homesick because you are far away from friends and family. Also, it can be challenging keeping in touch on a regular basis with everyone back home because of the different time zones you guys live in. Another possibility could be that your friends can’t relate to your new life and thus, your bond is not as strong as it used to be anymore.
You Feel Like You Don’t Fit In
You might get the impression that as much as you try, you don’t seem to fit in and you can’t vibe with the local residents and you’re just having a really hard time finding new friends.
I’ve listed down a few advantages and disadvantages of living abroad that came into my mind. I’m sure there are some more pros and cons that people have experienced but I just wanted to give you a general idea. At the end of the day, you have to make your own list of pros and cons in order to come to the conclusion if the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Based on my personal experience, I never regretted my decision to live abroad for a few years because it was a life changing experience for me that brought out the best in myself.