significant omitted information while signing a contract

I have been a foreigner in three different academic environments. One of the accidents that happened to me (and that most concretely damaged me) was that, while signing a contract, I was not informed at all about some specific and complex bureaucratic procedure whose existence and mastery was taken for granted by the locals and that, if correctly performed, would have represented enormous benefits – for instance, signing up for the right sub-group of a not very visible but powerful academic trade union in order to get an advantageous unemployment insurance. Instructions were not provided at all and, when available in writing, they only were in local language. One can be (as I am) very accurate and sometimes even pedantic, but one cannot even suspect the existence of procedures that have no equal in the system s/he is coming from. Another common obstacle cropped up while I was filling in online applications for funding from different institutions. Albeit the call was open to scholars and projects from the world over, and the general instructions were in English, all of a sudden essential instructions were provided in the local language, or the very language was expected to be used for an important part of the application (for instance “please enter a one-page summary of the proposed project”). I am talking about a Scandinavian language that one hardly masters as a nonlocal; I speak five foreign languages (meanwhile that one as well).  What stroke me was the mismatch between the supposed “openness” of the call and the obstacles that de facto impaired the possibilities for foreign applicants. It is very unlikely that those who designed the system did not realize the problem.