Living abroad is one of the most significant decisions you can make. It requires courage and patience, as you will be finding your place among strangers. It also involves making some preparations.
Naturally, you may feel uncomfortable before leaving your home country. Nonetheless, if you are truly committed to your goal, you should start getting ready to move as soon as possible. After all, the sooner you finish your arrangements, the better.
In this article, we aim to help you with this task. If you wish to learn what should be at the top of your priority list, read on.
Do Some Research First
Before making any big move, it is essential you do some research about your destination.
First of all, you should look at the lifestyle and culture of your host country – for example, by reading blogs and visiting websites. It does not matter where you get your information from. What matters is that you have some kind of a general idea of how life looks in that specific region.
It’s very important that you check what kind of documents you need to provide to be able to become a citizen and therefore be able to live and work there. Thankfully, there are many law firms that offer support with indefinite leave to remain (if you are moving to the UK), green card (for the USA), and others. It is also recommended that you look at the local job market and research average wage rates in your host country.
You should also figure out how much money you will need while living there. To do that, calculate the sum of all monthly expenses that occur immediately after moving. Also, remember about the costs of getting there (the flight and the accommodation are part of them).
Review Your Financial Situation
There is no doubt that living abroad increases expenses for many people. Still, it would be impractical to make this move when your financial situation is unfavorable. After all, the longer you work abroad, the more money you lose on different expenses (airfare tickets, foreign bank transfers, ATM withdrawals fees, etc.).
Organize Your Current Affairs Before Moving Abroad
Although most people deal with a considerable number of problems as they move out of their house or country for the first time, it is important to consider them beforehand and deal with as many of them as possible before the move.
Make a list (keep a paper copy at home) with all necessities, such as passport numbers, phone numbers or any other information you may need when traveling or settling in a new place. It is also crucial that you make a copy of documents like the passport and/or ID card and keep them with a trusted person, so that if anything goes wrong they can help you.
Open a Bank Account
Since your migration is going to be stressful anyway, you probably don’t want to add another point to your list and worry about keeping your money safe. So, one of the primary things you need to do in order to successfully move abroad is open a bank account. Although it would be safer if you opened it when you were still in your home country, if everything is already finalized you can do it as soon as you land.
To open a bank account, you will have to go through the following steps:
- Choose a bank that has branches in the country where you are moving;
- Receive some basic information about bank accounts;
- Apply for an account and provide all necessary information;
- Have your identity confirmed;
- Receive an official document confirming that you have an open account at your chosen bank.
- Make a deposit in your new account;
Find a Job or Start Your Own Business
Moving abroad should not make too many changes to your lifestyle. You should still be able to maintain many of your daily practices from back home. Among them, there’s likely to be one that has meaning to you: working or running your own business.
If you want to start your own business in a foreign country, make sure you know what kind of license or paperwork could be required by the local government. After all, these documents will prove invaluable if at any point some complications occur in court during legal battles with clients or suppliers.
Even though it could prove challenging and time-consuming, never forget that having an official license is mandatory in many developed countries and regions around the world. Obviously, if this step does not apply to you, skip it and proceed straight to the next one on our list of things to do before leaving home for good.
Taking up work teaching English as a foreign language, either locally or online is another terrific job option when moving abroad due to the global demand for teachers. The best way to get qualified to teach is by doing an online tefl course.
Make Sure You Have Access to Legal Health Insurance
At some point, you will probably need to visit a doctor, even if it’s just for a regular checkup. Make sure you have at least some kind of legal health insurance. In case of emergency, you will not have to worry about the costs of the visit!
Be Ready to Adhere to New Rules and Regulations in Your New Country
Moving abroad is not an easy task. When moving to a completely new country, you should be prepared for some differences between the local and your native culture. For instance, there may be different rules in terms of driving. Be aware that driving laws in many countries are more strict than in your home country.
Moreover, you should learn about the local laws on employment. Working abroad also has its own peculiarities, so make sure that you know what kind of work practices are common where you are planning to go.
The Bottom Line
There are many things that go into successfully moving abroad, and the ones outlined in our article are really just the tip of the iceberg. They will, however, help you prepare for the journey, as well as consider all of the necessary steps that will allow you to start living in a foreign country.
Aside from the aspects that we’ve mentioned, you might also want to look into the local culture and language (maybe even start learning some basics so that you can hold simple conversations) — the more you assimilate with the locals, the more welcoming they will be towards you.