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I'm currently working in a foreign country and have already lived abroad in more than one country for some years. Now, however, I realize that there are many differences between where I'm from (in North America) and where I am now which I feel I simply cannot reconcile. For this reason, I feel that it may be time for me to head back. I still want to continue doing work in my field, however, and therefore I would ideally be applying to do more or less exactly the same job there as I am here. Since "culture" would then be the only difference, how can I explain in a positive way that one major reason for me switching jobs is the "culture"?


By "culture", I explicitly do not mean company culture... albeit that the culture of the surrounding city/area/country/etc. obviously has an effect on that as well.

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    No need to explain. There is a thousand and one reason why you might want to move back home. Also in some countries, it's difficult to get promoted past a certain point if you're not a native of that country. – Stephan Branczyk Jun 1 '17 at 6:53
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    First of all. Why do you feel the need to explain that culture is the reason you are moving? – Jonas Praem Jun 1 '17 at 7:47
  • @JonasPraem what else do I write in an e-mail/motivational letter when the job is more or less the same as the one I've got now, albeit in a different place on the globe? – errantlinguist Jun 1 '17 at 10:35
  • Also international experience is valued. Larger companies in a lot of smaller countries will value people that went away and came back because that shows that the local economy is strong. – simbabque Jun 1 '17 at 11:43
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It's fine to just say you want to return to your home country. You don't really need to give further reason. I think people will accept that wanting to return as perfectly reasonable.

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It's all about framing the move in a positive way. To your specific question...

How can I explain...

Instead of "the culture is making me move", instead think of it as:

I wanted to live elsewhere for a while so I could expose myself to new ideas and new ways of doing things. I've made a lot of personal and professional strides by challenging myself this way. I'm ready to return home, armed with new skills, knowledge and experiences, to make my mark on the local industry.

There's your positive framing. Something along those lines is a pretty cookie cutter answer, so you should probably expand on it and highlight specific experiences that helped you grow. That general sentiment of "I've learned new things and I want to put them to use" is never a bad thing to overstate.

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