Nefeli Bouti works as a Marketing and Engagement Associate for Cigna Global Wellbeing Solutions.
This is her expat story.
Tell us about your expat move.
I’m from Greece and I’ve been living abroad since the age of 17. I initially went to study in Glasgow, and have also lived in Hong Kong.
I came to Madrid in the summer of 2017, when I started working at Cigna. It was a great opportunity to live in a new country, get to know a new culture, and learn a new language.
What did you find were the best ways of making friends as an expat abroad?
I didn’t have any acquaintances in Madrid initially so I attended lots of events. Then the people I met started introducing me to their friends, and slowly but surely my own circle of friends started forming. I’ve also made close friends through work, activities, and language classes.
What have been some of the biggest highlights from your expat journey so far?
The biggest highlight for me have been people I’ve met. No matter where you are, everything is better when you’re in good company. My experience would have not been the same had I not met my friends and my colleagues.
What have been some of the biggest challenges so far?
Starting anew in a foreign place on my own. It is always a challenge navigating a new system and absorbing a new culture, but with time and patience you find that you can make it through just fine.
Another challenge is living so far away from my family. We are very close and it’s tough not being able to see them very often.
What do you miss about your home country?
My family, and my grandmother’s food! I also miss spending the summertime escaping the heat in the mountains.
How much do you enjoy your role in Cigna?
Very. I’ve learnt and I’ve grown so much in the time I’ve worked here. Putting my skills and my knowledge into practice and learning how marketing campaigns are created and executed has been a fascinating experience. Working with an amazing team is a bonus.
What advice would you give to those who are considering making a move?
Just do it. It is the most enriching experience. You learn so much about the world, yourself, and, most importantly, how to be more independent.
What one be the one piece of advice you wish you’d known before moving?
That some things take time. You can’t know everything about your new country upon arrival or make close friends in two weeks, but that is okay. Be patient with yourself and all in good time.
Finally, how would you describe your expat journey in 10 words or less?
An adventure that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
International Health Insurance
Expats often opt for private healthcare and it’s important to have this arranged before moving country.
At Cigna Global, we provide plans that are specifically designed for expats just like you, ensuring that you have access to a range of different options, and 24/7 support where and when you need it.
You can also rely on our many years of experience in looking after the health and well-being of our customers.