We assisted Linda to move from Hungary to Bahrain only a couple of months ago but she was having such a good time that she thought she would share her story to let other people know what life is like on the island country. This is how she’s been getting on so far.
Why did you originally decide to move overseas?
“To be honest, I did not know if my knowledge could be useful outside the European Union, but I was very happy when I saw this opportunity. As a VAT expert, this is an amazingly interesting job to participate in the introduction of the VAT in a country where there were no taxes before. So when I discussed this opportunity with my consultant I was very excited to come here.”
Did you have any concerns before moving?
“Yes, of course I had many concerns. Moving to another country alone is never easy and is always a big challenge. I worried about how could I fit into a very different culture and how they would treat me. Also, I worried how I would get on with my colleagues and clients but I have to say it has all been very positive. Everyone has been very friendly and there has been no problem setting in.”
When you arrived in your location how long did it take you to settle in?
“I’ve only been here for 2 months and I already feel fully settled into my surroundings.”
Did your move meet your original expectations?
“I never expected I would find friends so quickly, not only my colleagues but local people who helped me to find a flat and to rent a car. It was very helpful, they showed me the best places nearby, the best restaurants, the best bars, the places where I can do sports – so everybody was so helpful which surpassed my expectations.
My colleagues and my boss are amazingly helpful – I can call my boss whenever I have a question and he will offer help and advice. I work mainly with Bahraini people so it’s very interesting to find out about their culture, their cultural habits, how they live and their mindset- just to know how they think about life. It’s an extremely interesting place to live.”
What has been the biggest benefit of moving so far?
“From a professional point of view, it is truly the most exciting job I can do now. It is an amazing opportunity for me to be part of this process to introduce VAT. Also very interesting to train clients who have no tax experience at all. And I can do it in a very supportive team with highly experienced colleagues, so I can learn a lot every day.
From the social point of view, I really like this kind of culture and I like having the opportunity to learn more about other cultures. I feel really good here, I think this is the best place for me to have moved to. It is very open minded and takes care of foreigners.”
Do you feel that your move has improved your standard of living?
“Absolutely. Living an expat life here can be very luxurious. I have a lovely apartment with an astonishing sea view. So sometimes I like being at home and sitting on my balcony. But when I go out there are excellent restaurants, five-star hotel bars, clubs and many programs organised for expats. Bahrain has a very lively nightlife which makes this country lovelier.”
What cultural differences have you noticed?
“This is an Arabic country, so there are a lot. However, they are very open minded since half of the country are Expats so it’s not as difficult. I can wear any clothes I want to wear and the society is quite liberal. Of course, there are cultural and religious rules I have to respect, but this is not a big issue for me.
The country is also very safe. I was worried about driving here because their rules are a bit different but it was quite easy to get used to it and now I like driving here!”
What advice would you offer to Accountants thinking about working overseas?
“The culture and the people here are different but if someone has an open-minded personality and can adapt to another culture it’s a really great place. This is a country with palm trees and sunshine which I know in summer can get quite hot – but everything is amazing- it’s very modern, not just the buildings but the people. I could not recommend it enough for someone who is considering to come here.
I’ve met a lot of people who said they would stay here for a few years and thought they might want to go home but now they don’t want to go home. They can go home for Christmas time and the summer period but it’s amazing and no one wants to go home.”
How did Think Global Recruitment assist you in securing your job overseas?
“My consultant was really enthusiastic and caring. I was in Kenya working at a refugee camp when you sent me an email about the role. It was very difficult for me to receive calls or even get my emails so my consultant had a lot of work to do to organise an interview with the Partner, send me the documents, or to do the personality test. It wasn’t easy because I only had my phone and the test didn’t work on my phone so I had to borrow a laptop. So it was a lot of time and calls spent organising – so yeah you did an extremely good job.
When I came here the Partner of the firm told me that the consultant was amazing and I said yes she is amazing. She did a really good job and if I had any concerns I felt really comfortable to call her at any time with questions and she always answered me. After I came here she wanted to know about how I felt, how I was settling in, so it was really cool. I felt that it was not just about me getting the job but genuinely cared about how it was going.”
We would like to thank Linda for sharing her story and pictures and wish her the best in the new role!
Please get in touch with us here if you would like to discuss moving overseas with one of our advisors.