Monday, 16 December 2013

Making the move abroad

Once you’ve decided to embark on your new life abroad, take action and make sure that you have everything under your control. Leaving your life behind to go start afresh in a new country can be a nerve-wracking and complicated experience. But there are a few things you can do to make the move a little easier on yourself….

Research is key

One tip that comes up from expats again and again is to do thorough research before you go. It is important to know as much as you can about what you’re letting yourself in for. If you’re travelling to work, make sure you have researched the job opportunities that are available in your new country. You don’t want to be struggling to find a job so far away from home. Check out the location and area where you would want to live. It’s important to find a space where you can feel comfortable and get to know the community even in a foreign area.

Image source: Creative Common/Amanda Kuzack
Before you move, you will surely be drowning in paperwork but it’s important that you have everything sorted. This will make you properly prepared. Visas are vital so make sure you or your employer organise the correct visa to avoid any problems further down the line. Look at insurance and ensure your policy covers you when you are abroad. If it doesn’t, see how much it is to take out medical insurance in your destination country so that you are covered at all times. Diplomas, qualifications and certificates should be copied in case anything happens to your baggage that you are taking with you.

Image source: Creative Common/Hannah Horton

Learn the culture
To avoid a huge culture shock, try to get to grips with the customs and way of life before you make the move. The shock of landing in a strange country can really unnerve new arrivals and make them feel completely lost. So do your best to get an understanding about what you are letting yourself in for. This will prepare you for the big leap and make the adjustment easier. Talk to as many people as you can who might be able to tell you what your new home will really be like. Make sure you check out what food you might like, shops to use and some places to visit. Learn a few vital phrases in the native language so you can get by for the first few weeks.

Image source: Creative Common/Louisa Bruce
Tie up loose ends
To make sure that you are fully ready to leave your home and make the move abroad, tie up all loose ends at home. Sort out all your finances and accounts so you are ready to start afresh without any baggage. Make sure anything you leave behind is being looked after, such as any houses you own or cars you can’t take with you. This is also true for your personal life. Ensure that friends and family know you are moving away so you can see them all before you go. You don’t want to start your new life feeling guilty because you didn’t get to see important people before you left.

These steps will make sure that you are ready and prepared to make the big leap abroad. Physically and emotionally pack up your stuff and go embrace your new opportunity. 

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