PT International Travel – An Introduction (part 1)

People are ALWAYS asking me about travel abroad. Unfortunately, I have never traveled abroad to work and know very little about it. Recently, a friend, packed up her bags and headed for Qatar where she has now resumed work as a Physical Therapist. She has been kind enough to put some of her experiences to paper and share them with us.

Over the next month or so, we will post several blogs by Amy Sheridan about her experiences finding work abroad and the logistical and cultural obstacles that she has contended with.

Without further a-do, here is an introduction to Amy and we will soon follow-up with the next several pieces.

-James
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Doha, Qatar largest city. A population of about 1 million.

Doha, Qatar’s largest city. A population of about 1 million.

Ever think of working as a PT abroad? My husband and I had been throwing that idea around for a year or so before a great opportunity arose for him as an engineer in Qatar. We jumped, and I left my physical therapy job in the US and followed him there. Why Qatar? Why work abroad when you can work as a traveling PT in the US? Well, hopefully our tales will give you some background on not only work and play life abroad but also on the process that I had to go through to work in Qatar.

Prior to jumping ship, I worked as a Sports and Ortho PT in a private outpatient clinic in Boston. I had been working there since graduating from Northeastern University in 2006. Having a boss that traveled to the Middle East for 10 or so years to treat athletes actually prepared me to work abroad. I always thought it would be awesome to start traveling with him there. Instead, I ended up here myself.

Amy getting around Qatar via some local transportation.

Amy exploring Qatar via some local transportation.

The number one reason we ended up in Qatar, of all places to relocate to, was contacts. And patience. My husband must have posted his resume on 50 job websites for work all over the world without a single reasonable follow-up (very frustrating, I might add!) before a conversation with a subcontractor led him to a brilliant contact and a job. My job also came from a contact I made 3 years ago at a conference. If that’s not an ad for keeping old business cards, I don’t know what is!

Over the next few blogs, I’ll share the seemingly never ending production of preparing to relocate, the millions of questions we asked before and during the relocation process, securing visas and residency, idiosyncrasies of living in another country, culture shock, and finally what it is like to work in Qatar. I’m hoping that my experience will guide any of you looking into it or in the midst of the process.

-Amy

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