Vaccines, Visas, & Vietnamese Lessons

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We are 11 days from departure! I am officially feeling the crunch to get everything ready. Living and working in another country requires both personal and professional preparation. Many of us are familiar with this process from going on vacation, but when you are going for a month or more, everything needs extra attention. If you are interested in an extended trip abroad, here are some things to consider:

  • Vaccines – You may need additional vaccines than you would not need for a shorter stay or they may be required for a visa, and on that note…
  • Visas – Many countries require visas for entry. In Vietnam, you need to ensure your visa covers not only the length of stay but the number of entries into the country.
  • Language skills – While working in Vietnam, we will work with translators, but I always think it’s useful to have some sense of the language before visiting another country. As an English speaker, Vietnamese has not come easily, but I’ll take what I can!
  • Cultural understanding – Whether traveling for fun or for work, it’s important to know about the country you are visiting, what are the norms and what is considered rude. I just learned, for example, that you should not sit until you are shown where to sit.
  • Work coverage – While in Vietnam, I will be working on a project separate from my normal job. Not to mention, I will be 11 hours ahead so making a plan for my work while I am gone will keep things from falling through the cracks.
  • Personal considerations – Everything from who will watch my dog and collect my mail to alerting my credit card company I’ll be away to ordering extra doses of prescriptions and confirming international healthcare coverage.
  • Packing – I think the key here is to figure out what you absolutely need, what is required based on the weather and culture, and don’t pack much more than that. My goal is to take a carry-on, let’s see how that goes!

Working in another country is an amazing opportunity, but it’s important to remember that a lot of preparation goes into getting there. My team and I have spent months preparing for this trip and in 11 days, it will all be worth the work!

Have any questions about preparing for a longer work trip/travel? Leave them in the comments.

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