Should You Move Abroad? 10 Things to Consider First
What do you want out of your move? Are you feeling caught by the infamous wanderlust or is your life caught in a rut, and something needs to be changed fundamentally? Maybe you’re considering moving because of a loved one. Or you’ve got a tempting new job offer and don’t know if the lifestyle will suit you? That is why we’ve chosen to show you ten important factors everyone should consider before moving to a new country. From language and culture to legal and residential issues, everything needs to be considered in full, to ensure your transition is as smooth as possible.
Never without a plan
Whether you’re moving alone or accompanying a loved one, you yourself need a plan as well. Going to a new country without a plan whatsoever may sound poetic and adventurous, but remember that you want to live here, not be a tourist. Your literal and emotional survival in the new country depend on how well you prepare beforehand. Consider all the different scenarios that could befall you before and during your stay there. Always have a plan B, no matter how optimistic you are. That way, it’s difficult to be caught off guard and facing the next flight home.
Have a job and housing secured
This should be your top priority. And it sort of falls in the abovementioned planning stage. Even if you don’t have permanent housing ready, find a temporary one, in a motel, or with a friend or family. You’ve uprooted your whole life, and it’s bound to get turbulent and chaotic in the beginning. Having a job and a place to stay will be your two guarantees that will anchor you back when it all seems overwhelming.
How well do you know the language?
If you’re moving to a country where you don’t know the language, keep in mind that it’s good to familiarize yourself with it. Test your level of knowledge with it, and how well you can understand/produce it. Furthermore, invest in some online classes, or a course offline, because you can’t have a foreigner status the rest of your life there. Some countries even make it mandatory to learn the language after a few years of living there.
How different is the culture?
Think about how well you can adapt to the culture. It being too different from what you’re used to will ultimately make you decide to move back home. If possible, visit the country for a brief time before moving there. See how the people live there, what their customs are, how they behave in transport, in the streets, what they eat, and what their mentality overall encompasses.
What about friends and family?
If you have friends and family that you’re very attached to, this move is already a difficult decision. However, some people who take this factor into account when moving abroad decide to move someplace that will be, at most, a 12-hour-flight away from everyone they love. Especially in case of emergencies. Others decide on visiting a few times a year, but also provide tickets for their friends and family to visit back.
Adapting will be hard
Be absolutely aware that moving abroad brings a lot of change. As we mentioned, you’ll have a new home, a new job in a new place, you’ll change your daily rituals and most likely, your habits. It will take all your emotional strength, and remembering why you’ve moved, to constantly keep yourself motivated and positively boosted. Because if and when sadness and nervousness hit, they’ll hit harder since you’re displaced from home. Surround yourself with quirky new rituals every day, find a coffee shop you might like, and make a motivational plan that will have you push through those hard days that will inevitably come.
Prepare for foreign bureaucracy
Every country has different legislation considering foreign arrivals. The bureaucracy can be too complex to get into it in this article, but we can encourage your do the research well beforehand. Some countries have a 12-month validity on your passport before arrival, so make sure your passport and other documents are valid. If you’re not too trusting with people online, you can always find and contact those country’s best immigration lawyers that can inform you more thoroughly.
Secure a visa!
Plenty of countries require a visa, whether it’s a residential, for a few months, or a work one. Work visas might be among the safest ones to get since in that case, an employer guarantees that your stay there is legal and properly regulated. You should also look into which kind of health insurance you can get, and how to properly apply for it. Countries differ vastly when it comes to their policies on visas and health insurance.
Finish up everything at home
One of the last-considered factors, often even overlooked during the preparation period, is all the leftover work you have here. Whether it’s best to sell your house or apartment, if you’ll bring your pets along or not, which of your possessions will move with you and which ones will have to stay, and the like. You’ll need to sort out the bureaucracy at home as well before you leave. See what legal things must be finished up so that you can start with a clean slate in a country.
To sum up
In this article, we focused on some fairly serious factors that account into moving abroad. It is a life-changing decision that should take months of careful preparation, so as not to fall into a trap that could cost you a lot of stress and money. Legal, residential, and familial matters are best sorted out before starting your life anew someplace else. And while it can all seem serious, strenuous, and unnecessary, leading you up to question why you moved in the first place, don’t forget – you’re on the verge of a great new adventure. The experience gained and memories you’re bound to gain will be incredible.