Thursday, 11 July 2013

Staying safe as an expat

Picture source: Flickr

Despite the excitement of moving abroad there are inevitably things that can go wrong. One of the important things to think about is personal safety, both security and personal well-being. Alongside the growing list of things to consider before moving overseas, here are some of our suggestions on how you can stay safe as an expat:

Keep a list of key phone numbers
Keep a backup list of all the key phone numbers you will need, this includes your bank, your local embassy or consulate office as well as any friends that you will need to contact. Many mobile phone companies allow you to back up your contacts online which can always be useful. Think also about having a map, many people solely rely on mobile phones for navigating when abroad.

Learn the good places in town
Learn the good from the bad; every city has places which are not advisable to go. Learn where is safe and where is not, get a good guide book or speak to people who have visited or lived there. Getting lost is part of going somewhere new but certain places you just don’t want to be lost in!

Find a friend
The world is so global nowadays that there is normally a friend or friend of a friend who lives or works in a location. Make a note of who they are so if you get in to trouble there is someone who can assist and, in some cases, speak the local language. Expats are normally only too happy to assist a friend in need. 

Be sensible
This is a basic for being in any large city but remember not to carry large amounts of cash or fancy electronic gadgets. Whilst this is often an obvious thing when out and about, remember that in some countries you will stand out as a foreigner and become an obvious target for thieves.

Make sure you have the right insurance
Especially in the case of medical care remember to make sure you are insured. In places where healthcare is free, this is not a problem but some countries require payment for everything and if the worst occurred one does not want to be haggling in a hospital or with an ambulance driver.

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