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Business English – Working Abroad

Friday, September 16, 2016 @ 05:09 PM
posted by Jo

workingabroadLiving and working abroad would be really easy if everyone spoke the same way and behaved in the same way. But, as soon as you leave your own culture it quickly becomes clear that things are not the same. There are small and large differences between cultures. And how well you are able to deal with these differences will affect how good your experience will be working overseas.


Video about Working Abroad

  • What do you think the speaker meant when he talked about one’s career ‘shooting off’?
  • The speaker talked about a ‘geographic comfort zone’. Do you believe you are in a geographic comfort zone?
  • Do you agree with the speaker that the best way to compete and succeed in today’s economy is to move to other countries?


  • First impressions – the original feeling or thoughts you have about something
  • Foreign culture – a culture that is different to your own
  • Gap year – a year that some young people take after school and before university
  • Comfort zone - a situation where one feels safe or at ease.
  • Misunderstanding - a failure to understand something correctly
  • Stereotype - a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing
  • Custom - a traditional and widely accepted way of behaving or doing something that is specific to a particular society, place, or time

Conversation Questions

  • Have you ever worked in another country?
  • If yes, what was your experience like? What challenges did you face?
  • If you could choose, where would you like to work abroad? Why?
  • What factors do you think people need to consider when choosing a country to work in?
  • What are the main reasons people work abroad?
  • What are some of the benefits of working abroad?
  • What do you think are the main difficulties people face when working abroad?
  • What are some cultural differences that could affect the way people work together?
  • What are the most important things to learn in order to successfully work in another country?
  • How does body language differ between countries? Could differences cause problems in the workplace?
  • Do you think the way people give eye contact varies between cultures? Why would this be important knowledge for the workplace?
  • In what ways do other cultures have different attitudes to:
    • Time
    • Status and Hierarchy
    • Titles (Mr, Mrs, Miss, Dr etc.)
  • What role do these factors play in the workplace?
  • What’s the ideal amount of time to work abroad? Why?
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