The Key to Positive Country Transitions: Sponsorship

Posted on May 14, 2019 | 0 comments

The Key to Positive Country Transitions: Sponsorship

When a person is transitioning to work in a new country, whether alone or with a family, there are many challenges that accompany the anticipation of a new location. Good outreach can ensure the orientation phase goes smoothly and provides a positive starting experience. Our blog last week  discussed what information is most important to new arrivals, both immediately and as time goes on. While information is key to managing expectations and preparation, there is an additional tool: A sponsorship program can be a powerful way to foster a positive transition.

Presenter Jennifer Pasquale, creator of the website, took an informal poll at a recent AWAG Leadership conference about what makes a good sponsor for an individual or family transitioning for work or internship in a new country. Conference participants were comprised of active duty military, government service, and embassy spouses currently living, working and volunteering in countries around Europe and Africa.


Several good suggestions, based on both the active and receiving end, were collected. Here are 6 tips to providing good sponsorship:


  • Communicate prior to arrival. It is important to set expectations. Without being negative, make sure differences in living situations are understood. Offer basic logistical information on what to expect.
  • Lead the conversation: Start with “What questions can I answer?” but also anticipate issues that might be unexpected. Someone new to a country may not know what to ask. For example, it might be a completely new experience learning how to dial phones internationally.
  • Social Media: Recommend engagement with social media groups that are relevant and reliable to the location. Information and welcome packets are good, but our ongoing social media habit provides a familiar way to engage with a new environment. Find the groups that are trustworthy and invite newcomers to join.
  • Meaningful contact: On initial arrival, make meaningful contact. Show newcomers how to use public transportation or where the best grocery stores are located. Accompany them to a local market or interesting sight.
  • Provide Contact info: Make sure you are available. Offer to be an emergency contact for school, work, or medical forms. It is likely a new person doesn’t have someone with a local telephone number to serve as this contact.
  • Check back: Provide a “second touch”: Check in at the 60- and 90-day mark to make sure the transition process is still going smoothly. As immediate needs are met, other issues can arise that create significant tension, and ongoing support from a sponsor can provide meaningful solutions.


Organizations with good sponsorship to help employees/interns and their families transition note increased engagement and job satisfaction. Employees who have accepted international assignments adjust and perform better in the host country when effective HR management practices, such as sponsorship programs, are implemented, according to a report by the SHRM Foundation. A good sponsorship experience often leads to offers of reciprocation in the future as well. Consider implementing a sponsorship program to encourage positive transitions for your international organization.


Are you supporting international moves or moving your career to a new country? We can help!


Passport Career provides more detailed career information and extensive resources about networking, finding an international job or internship, country-specific business protocol and culture, alternative career opportunities, writing country-specific resumes/CVs, cover letters and interview strategies for other countries. If your university/college, organization, company, embassy, library, or other institution would like access to our country portfolios and global career training program (50,000+ pages of expert content for 90+ countries and 275+ cities) to share with your students, employees, spouses/partners, and others managing a national or international career transition, please click here to contact us (or send email to: regarding a free, live, online demo and details on how to obtain a license to access Passport Career. Individuals making a career transition are also encouraged to contact us for a free demo of our portal.




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