The Expat Woman

Finding belonging, community and empowerment abroad

When I surveyed expat women in our network, three of the biggest challenges they seem to face were finding belonging, community and feeling empowered abroad.

Feeling like you fit in is crucial for your happiness and well-being. We all want to belong, it’s human nature and when you move abroad that need is even greater.

Finding those connections – whether it’s through shared experiences, interests, or values – can make all the difference. It’s about creating a sense of home away from home.

Building a community abroad can give you a sense of belonging and make your experiences richer and more fulfilling. Whether it’s fellow travelers, expats, or locals, these connections enrich your expat experience.

And let’s not forget empowerment. Being in a new place can be daunting, but it’s also an incredible opportunity to grow and challenge yourself. When you step out of your comfort zone and embrace new opportunities, you discover strengths and abilities you never knew you had. It’s about feeling confident in yourself and your abilities, no matter where you are in the world.

So, why is all of this important? Because finding belonging, community, and empowerment abroad helps with personal growth, cultural understanding, and building connections that can last a lifetime. .

So, if you are planning to move abroad or are already living abroad, remember this: finding belonging, community, and empowerment abroad can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.

Here are some hot secrets, tips and quotes from our speakers of The Expat Woman Virtual Summit, March 2024 on finding belonging, community and empowerment abroad

Get clarity on what your purpose is, what you want to accomplish in your life abroad, who you want in your “tribe”.

"Stay curious and be patient with yourself and others when communicating across cultures. Embrace a learning mindset, ask questions, and allow room for understanding differences. "

"Embrace learning the language of the country you are going to. This will help you make inroads with the local community and help you feel like a part of it more quickly."

"Belonging is a head and heart journey. We celebrate our sense of belonging when we can recognize that our individual identities, collective identities, and hybrid identities give us access to intersectional spaces of connection and love. When we approach our social challenges and conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion with an intersectional mindset, heart-set, and skillset, we are moving the world into a more tolerant, empathetic, and caring place. This is the work of people who have had—and continue to hold—intersectional experiences."

"Mentoring works best when you participate on both sides of the equation: mentor others, but also find a mentor for yourself. The gift of mentoring has changed my life, and I have been fortunate to help many others in their professional journeys. When I started mentoring, I thought I could teach others, but I found myself learning from my mentees. I thought I could lead them, yet I received the best lessons in leadership from them. I wanted to inspire them but they inspired me. "

"Recognize the unique values you carry and boldly present them to the world around you; they are the keys to a sense of belonging and building connections in any community."

"Start building a network before you move"

"Developing a sense of belonging takes time, dedication, and effort. By actively engaging with the culture around you and embracing differences, you lay the foundation for rebuilding genuine connections. Open yourself to the unfamiliar, and as you navigate this journey, remember to be patient and kind to yourself. In doing so, you not only cultivate resilience but also create a deep sense of empowerment and self-trust."

"Be open to step outside your comfort zone, it will be well worth it."

"Get involved in an organization, group or activity that links directly to your personal interests. Not only will you be able to contribute positively to society but also build new connections, become part of a larger community, and feel empowered to tackle daily challenges."

"A career abroad is very fulfilling, exciting, and provides so many opportunities for you and your family. Your professional success depends on a variety of factors, some that are obvious and others not. Once you’re aware of them, you can influence them and take charge of your career and your time aborad."

"Work through the internal fears and feelings that hold you back. You create the life you want from the inside out! Be clear on your values and the life you want, then go out there and get involved."

"Embrace and leverage the strengths of your native culture and those of your adopted culture. Join groups that do activities that light you up."

"Cultural Intelligence (CQ) unlocks doors and helps you navigate the nuances of different cultures, fostering respect and reducing misunderstandings. For women venturing abroad, it paves the path to empowerment and belonging. Understanding local norms builds bridges, allowing you to connect with respect and adapt communication to be heard. Embrace your CQ journey with curiosity and an open mind to navigate new environments with confidence, solve cross-cultural challenges effectively, and become an ambassador for understanding in your new home."

"Share one tip to help women abroad find belonging, community or be empowered. Your response with your name will be used in the blog post - Tips on How Women Abroad can Find Belonging, Community or be Empowered."

"Prioritize what matters most"

"When you find belonging within yourself, you will you feel you belong almost anywhere."

"As a women it's always scary to use your voice, but I would say being silent is even more scarier. Don't ever be afraid to speak your truth."

"The most important thing to do is get out of your home and go to events to meet people to find your tribe."

"Connect with online groups that go beyond computer screem. Attend hosted group events to meet people "real time" to find your "tribe" in your new home."



Nyna is the Founder and CEO of The Expat Woman, a global platform focused on connecting, supporting and empowering women who have moved abroad or plan to relocate. She is also a LinkedIn coach, consultant, trainer and speaker. LinkedIn played a huge role in my professional journey abroad, helping me build a network of powerful expat women and allies.

Pin It on Pinterest

Get your Free Ticket

Online from Nov. 7th to Nov.9th