GLOMO provided me with opportunities to communicate with and learn from colleagues who find their ways from different countries, backgrounds, and cultures to come to Europe for one meaningful goal. As an expatriate myself, I was initially inquisitive about how my working and daily life would look like in a destination which is 9,486 km far away from my home. Germany apparently has a distinct culture, weather condition, working practices, societal system, and norms. I have then figured out that the weather is substantially different, it can become extremely chilly to me, not like the one in the tropical region where I lived, where you can come outside all the time and enjoy the sunshine your friends. Although it is not likely to happen here, you can still spend a wonderful night in a cozy diner with other expatriates when it’s raining outside. You can still feel a lot of warmth and support, both personally and professionally. In fact, I got numerous career advice at places like that. Besides, I attended other social events where I have met other researchers who openly shared with me their journeys, aspirations, and challenges, that gradually enlightened me (and my project!). At times, there are unpleasant circumstances happen, which is inevitable due to the (mala-)adjustment because of the language deficiency, the unawareness of the local practices and laws; or the loneliness from family separation; that is when I realize why my project is important and meaningful. Generally, expatriation has not been an ‘over the moon’ experience to me, but it is enjoyable, exciting, and purposeful.
Anh Nguyen is working on subproject 09, which will investigate determinants why foreign employees leave a host country and why they stay abroad. See full description here www.glomo.eu/projects/#esr9