Cultural Intelligence: The Superpower for Expatriates to Thrive in their Life Abroad

At ASI Movers, we know that taking the leap and expatriating involves so much more than boarding a plane and moving belongings.

Once in a brand new environment, developing a sense of belonging and building a setting and routine that feel like home are the key to a successful move abroad.

Indeed, and as noted by researchers, “although globalization has made the world seem smaller and “flat” in many ways, increasing cultural diversity creates challenges for individuals and organizations, making the world ‘not so flat’ after all” (Ang et al., 2007).

In that context, a central concept emerges: cultural intelligence (coined by Earley and Ang in 2003).

In today’s article, we explore the power of cultural intelligence for expatriates and uncover practical strategies to cultivate this invaluable trait.

What Is Cultural Intelligence

Cultural intelligence is defined as an individual’s capability to function and operate effectively in diverse settings.

Simply put, and in the case of expatriation, cultural intelligence is the ability to build cultural bridges and thrive in new environments.

More precisely, it helps you connect with people from different backgrounds,understand and appreciate diverse customs, values, and behaviors, adapt and communicate effectively across cultural boundaries, and equips expats with knowledge, mindfulness, adaptability, and communication abilities.

A Positive Impact on Your Personal and Professional Life

Many researchers have noted the positive impact cultural intelligence has on the lives of those who live abroad, and how it helps them navigate their new environment!

1.  A Positive Infuence on Your Professional Life

As highlighted by Forbes, cultural intelligence is essential to the success of international assignments. Indeed, developing this skill will likely have a very positive influence on your professional life!

  • Enhanced Adaptability:
    It enhances your adaptability and capacity to transition smoothly to new environments, teams and practices, thus increasing the success rate of your missions and projects.
  • Improved Communication Skills:
    It improves your communication skills, allowing to effectively convey ideas, negotiate, and collaborate across cultural boundaries.
  • Building Meaningful Relationships:
    It allows you to more easily build meaningful relationships and trust with colleagues, communities, business partners, etc., thus fostering stronger connections and facilitating teamwork and networking.
  • Increased Problem-Solving Abilities:
    It increases your problem-solving abilities and capacity to navigate complex situations in diverse cultural contexts, leading to innovative solutions that are sure to participate in your projects' success.
  • Career Advancement:
    It fosters career advancement as global individuals who developed cultural intelligence are very sought after by multinationals, employers, and business partners alike.

2.  A Positive Infuence on Your Personal Life

Yet, the benefits do not limit to the professional sphere. The positive impact of cultural intelligence indeed trickles down to your personal life, making it richer and more fulfilling!

When relocating to a new country and interacting with people from different backgrounds, it can be challenging to feel like you belong.

Cultural intelligence enables individuals to bridge that gap, navigate new environments and circles with more ease and connect more swiftly with those around them!

  • Expanded Worldview and Personal Growth:
    It expands your worldview and fosters personal growth, challenges biases, and enables a deeper appreciation for cultural diversity and a greater understanding of global, multifaceted, complex issues.
  • Increased Empathy and Cultural Sensitivity:
    Developing cultural intelligence promotes empathy and cultural sensitivity, allowing individuals to understand and appreciate different values, perspectives, and traditions.
  • Personal Enrichment:
    It enhances interpersonal skills, enabling individuals to navigate social situations, create meaningful relationships, and build trust across cultural boundaries.
  • Greater Cultural Awareness:
    Developing cultural intelligence deepens an individual's understanding of various cultures, their history, social norms, and customs, leading to increased cultural awareness and appreciation.

A Skill That Develops Overtime

The chosen way to nurture cultural intelligence is to stay curious, ask questions, seek engagement with others in an open-minded way, learn about the cultures that surround you as well as the experiences of those you meet on the way!



For the past 15 years, ASI Movers has been accompanying global individuals, families and companies in their relocation journey.

No matter the origin, the destination, the volume, or the project, we design the most adapted moving solution to fit your needs and requirements!

Our goal: to make your journey the smoothest possible, because there is so much more on your mind than moving your belongings!


Why Do We Go Abroad: The Unique Journey of Self-Initiated Expatriates

Living and working abroad can be a life-changing experience, filled with new adventures, cultural discoveries, as well as personal and professional growth.

Lately, a specific type of expatriation has been attracting more and more attention from scholars and recruiting organizations alike: self-initiated expatriation.

Are you one of those adventurous souls who have taken the leap to live and work abroad on your own initiative? If the answer is yes, then you are part of this growing community of people called self-initiated expatriates.

What prompts so many to take the leap and go abroad? What is so unique about this community? What are the pros and cons of this form of expatriation?

We answer it all in today’s article!

There is more to expatriation than a lifestyle choice

  1. For SIEs, personal and lifestyle considerations obviously come into play .
    Unlike AEs, SIEs are more active in their expatriation decision, and intrinsic motivators are thus more prevalent. Pursuing self-fulfillment through novel experiences breaking away from a routine, or challenging oneself, fulfilling their travel dreams, and changing one’s environment are thus often cited reasons for taking the leap.
    Other less-talked-about personal reasons also come into play, notably family ones and relocating to seek a better quality of life for close ones.
  2. However, career-related factors are often primary in SIEs decisions.
    Through expatriation, many seek to develop their careers, career capital, competitiveness, global skills, and network in a more welcoming and attractive job market, given their skills, profile, and aspirations. SIEs are very proactively shaping their careers, and organizations, as well as researchers around the world, have been noticing!

Why we leave, why we stay: Changing motivations

The reasons underlying one’s expatriation rarely remain the same throughout one’s international journey.

More often than not, the lifestyle and personal aspects give even more way to career-oriented motivations.

With experience and after discovering the opportunities living abroad offers, many cite the perspective of professional growth as the main reason why they stay abroad!

The pros and cons of self-initiated expatriation


At ASI Movers, we know that embarking on and navigating an international journey is both exciting and challenging, and that there is so much more on your mind than moving your belongings from one place to another.

That is why our goal is to make your relocation the smoothest possible! Our ethos: provide customized solutions that fit your relocation project. We strive to make moving as simple and stress-free for you as possible.

This article is based on the following research:

* Despotovic, W. V., Hutchings, K., & McPhail, R. (2022). Business, pleasure or both?: Motivations and changing motivation of self-initiated expatriates. Journal of Management & Organization, 18.

Finding Fluffy: A True Relocation Story

Meet Fluffy, the adorable teddy bear who found its way into our hearts after a very special move.

As its family was getting ready to go to a new home, Fluffy decided to play hide and seek with such talent that everybody, especially the family's younger child, started to wonder if it would reappear before the big departure.


Fluffy may have a talent for disappearing, but at ASI Movers, losing is not an option!

With our dedication and commitment to our clients, we made it our mission to find Fluffy and ensure this family's move happens in the best conditions possible!

Each relocation is unique

When it comes to moving, there is no one-size-fits-all solution able to accommodate the needs of people relocating to a new home. Each project is different and requires listening to customers' unique needs and understanding what matters most to them.

Whether it is ensuring that the family's favorite teddy bear is found, safe and sound, or that the moving schedule fits your own, we embrace the uniqueness of each and every request and craft the solution that best fits your needs!

Taking care of your belongings

At ASI Movers, we know that belongings are more than simple objects to their owner. Thanks to our 15 years of expertise, we ensure that your goods are packed and delivered securely, without damage, and in accordance with your specifications.

Specific items may also require special care due to their material, shape, weight, or sentimental value.

For taking care of these fragile or special goods, you can rely on our experienced teams of packers and moving professionals to guarantee your belongings travel in the best conditions feasible.

Our ethos: provide customized solutions that fit your relocation project, and handle your belongings with the same care and respect we did with Fluffy!

Our commitment to providing excellent service and tailor-made solutions is what sets us apart and built our reputation over the course of the past 15 years.

At ASI Movers, we understand that relocating involves so much more than moving belongings from one place to another and that, hence, it can be a very busy and sometimes even overwhelming process. That is the reason why we strive to make moving goods as simple and stress-free for you as possible!

Relocating Soon? Read this ultimate packing guide and enjoy a serene move!

Packing belongings seldom is people's favorite part of moving to a new place. It takes time and quite a bit of energy!

At ASI Movers, we believe that packing your belongings should be the least of your concerns when moving to a new home, whether on the other side of the world or across the street.

That is why, based on our 15 years of expertise in helping global individuals in their relocation projects, whether far or close, big or small, we prepared the answers and tips you will need to envision your upcoming relocation stress-free!

Professional tips for efficiently and safely moving your belongings

1. Start preparing for your move early

Easier said than done, we know, but it will give you enough time to sort through your belongings and determine what to bring with you and what to sell, donate or dispose of. Save time for later by sorting items you do not use often or that are out of season early on!

Tip: In Shanghai? 飞蚂蚁 (Flying Ant) provides clothing pickup services free of charge for anyone looking to rid of old clothes. All you need to do is to schedule an appointment.


2. Use the right supplies

Make sure you have plenty of sturdy boxes in various sizes, as well as packing tape, bubble wrap, and packing paper.

Remember to consider the climate as well.

Depending on the season and your destination, your belongings may be exposed to different temperatures and humidity levels while being stored and during transit. Use appropriate packing materials to protect sensitive items like electronics, artwork, and musical instruments. Hermetic bags and moister absorbers are other items you can prepare to ensure your belongings stay good as new!

Tip: If you choose to pack your belongings yourself, ASI Movers can deliver you the adapted packing materials you need in advance. Contact our relocation agent for more details.


3. Sorting, categorizing, labeling

The best practice when moving is to label each box with the room it belongs in and a brief description of its content. Your moving partner will issue a packing list, and we recommend you keep a room-by-room inventory of your items with you during your move.

Tip: When using ASI Movers’ packing and unpacking services, we take care of this step on your behalf and follow your indication for the placement of your belongings in your new home.


4. Filling the boxes

Packing is an art; trust us! Here are some of our best tips to pack like a pro if you choose to do it yourself or to take care of selected items yourself:

Pack heavy items first, and work your way up lighter ones.

Use bubble wrap for fragile items such as dishes, glasses, vases, etc., and do not hesitate to be generous in protecting your items.

Fill empty spaces with packing paper or bubble wrap to prevent items from shifting during the move.
Avoid overpacking boxes: we know it can be tempting to try to fit as much as possible in one box, but we recommend you be careful to avoid overpacking them as heavy or overstuffed boxes break easier and can become difficult to move.

Tip: Make sure you prepare a separate box for items you will need right after the move is completed to avoid having to open several the moment you arrive in your new home!

Tip: Ensure you carry essential documents with you during your move, like passports, birth certificates, financial records, etc.

The benefits of relying on a professional team of packers: efficiency & reliability

At ASI Movers, we believe that relocating involves so much more than moving items from one place to another. From saying goodbye to friends to preparing for your arrival in your new home, we know that there is a lot on your mind.

Taking care of your belongings should be the least of your concerns in these busy times, and that is why ASI Movers offers end-to-end moving solutions that include professional packing and unpacking.

1. Save time & reduce stress

Packing can be time-consuming, and sometimes even overwhelming, especially if you have other important tasks to complete before your move, but it does have to be. Hiring professional packers can take the stress off your shoulders and give you peace of mind knowing that your items are in good hands.


2. Ensure your belongings are packed securely

Professional packers have the experience and expertise to pack your items most safely and optimally, ensuring they arrive at your new home in the same condition as when they left.


3. Special items care

Some items are more complex to pack than others, either because of their design and shape, their material, their weight, or how fragile they are. For these special items, resorting to professional packers is the best fit as they have the experience of working with such goods most efficiently and securely.


4. Flexibility

We offer customizable packing services, enabling you to choose the level of service that works best for you.

At ASI Movers, we are dedicated to making your relocation process the easiest and smoothest possible, because there is so much more on your mind than just moving your belongings! We provide comprehensive moving services and customized solutions crafted to fit your needs, no matter your project.

China Resumes Issuing All Visas: Everything You Need to Know

Announcements made on March 13th, 2023 by several Chinese Embassies point toward a pre-pandemic back to normal for international travels with China! They indeed announced that the country will resume issuing all types of visas starting March 15th, 2023. Let's break down all the announcements and what it means for future international travels.

What Changes?

We encourage you to consult your home country and country of origin's embassy before your departure.

To access the Customs Pocket Declaration miniprogram, scan the above QR codes or click here.

Easier Travels

In addition to these announcements, travels from and to China are to become increasingly easy:

  • Chinese as well as foreign airlines have been reopening and adding international routes, including daily international flights for certain destinations.
  • Many countries have dropped the special Covid-19 requirements they had put in place at the beginning of the year. Among them, we can note that the US, South Korea, and EU member countries do not require a 48h PCR test for passengers coming from China anymore.

Relocating Soon?

Since 2008, ASI Movers has been accompanying global individuals in their moving projects from, to, and within Asia.

ASI Movers is a China-born international moving company providing moving solutions for individuals, families, and businesses alike.

Since 2008, ASI Movers has been accompanying global individuals in their moving projects from, to, and within Asia.

ASI Movers is a China-born international moving company providing moving solutions for individuals, families, and businesses alike.