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Expat Advice: Working in Brussels, Belgium

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Brussels

What are the main industries in this city? What types of career opportunities commonly exist? How do most people find new jobs?

Belgium is mostly populated by those working for the UN. As a city, it probably has one of the highest populations of expatriates and there is a magazine published weekly called the Bulletin which is extremely helpful. Venezuela and Ecuador tend to be dominated by both oil and pharmaceutical companies.

What type of work do you do and how did you find your job?

My husband works for a pharmaceutical company and we have lived abroad for 11 years. I am trying to find work as a consultant for people relocating back to the US (we recently repatriated and are in NJ) or for those traveling to Belgium, Venezuela, or Ecuador.

Expats living in Belgium interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA. Get a Quote

Expats living in Belgium interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA.

How did you obtain your work permit? What advice would you have for others about work permits?

I didn't work abroad, except as a volunteer for the school designing yearbooks and publishing 5 in total.

Have you taken language and cross-cultural training courses to prepare for your assignment? If so, how have they helped you on the job?

I studied Spanish and became fully bilingual. I hope this will help me to obtain part-time work in translations and assisting inbound/outbound expatriates.

If you were transferred abroad by your employer, were you guaranteed a job upon repatriation? What type of mentoring programs does your employer offer?

My husband was guaranteed to be brought back; however, when we left the US, there was never a guarantee for repatriation.

What advice would you offer others about finding jobs and working abroad?

The experience is dynamic and if you want to obtain the most benefit from the time abroad it is imperative to learn the language, develop relationships with locals and travel the host country when possible.

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