You may have done your fair share of traveling in your lifetime, but moving and living in another country is a completely different experience. As with many big decisions in life, moving abroad can have its ups and downs. As such, it’s not a decision to be taken lightly.
That’s why we’ve put together this guide. Below, we’re going to take a look at the most important aspects of life that you need to consider before moving to a new country.
The first thing you need to consider before moving abroad is whether you’re actually legally allowed to live there. Residency visas vary from place to place, so make sure you’re clued up on the rules and regulations.
In some countries like Australia, there are schemes in place that grant you a visa for a few years so you can live and work there and experience the culture. However, some places will take your age, occupation, and background into consideration before deciding whether to grant you a visa or not. So, you need to find out if you meet all the criteria.
It’s best to sort all of this out before you go. The last thing you want to do is find yourself trying to translate important paperwork when you’ve already made the huge step of moving to a new country. Or worse, to get there and be told that you don’t have the right to stay.
A quick internet search should provide you with plenty of information and resources on your chosen location and help point you in the right direction if you need help.
Working and money
It may be the case that you’re moving abroad for a job – if so, that’s great! But if not, you need to consider how you’re going to make money and support yourself when you move.
If you’ve got a skill that allows you to freelance and work online, this can be the simplest transition. For example, if you’re a writer, graphic designer, or programmer, you can work remotely either through a company or as a freelance worker.
Otherwise, you should take a look at the types of jobs offered in the area before you commit to the move. You might have a strong set of transferable skills that will allow you to pick up work in catering, hospitality, or childcare. You could even become a language teacher!
It’s particularly important that you consider work if you’re going somewhere you can’t speak the local language very well. This can be a huge barrier to your job search.
And hey, if you’re lucky enough to have some savings so you don’t have to work when you move, then even better.
You need to decide whether you will line up a house before you move or whether you’re going to stay somewhere temporarily whilst you search for a home. This will depend on whether you know exactly where you want to live or whether you’d prefer to view houses before agreeing to buy.
If you want to sort something out before you go, you should be able to find adverts online for people renting rooms or apartments. You can also look for local estate agents and speak to them.
Alternatively, you might just want to book yourself into a hotel for a few weeks while you get settled and find a place to live.
The cost of moving and living
You also need to consider the actual cost of moving abroad. You should investigate:
- What living costs are where you plan to live
- The average salaries there
- Transportation to get to your new home
- Buying or renting a place
- The cost of shipping your stuff to your new home
This will determine whether you’re going to be better off financially in your new home or whether you’re going to need to secure a bigger salary if you’re moving somewhere more costly. Either way, try to create a budget for the actual move and a monthly budget for how much you expect to spend on things like rent, phone bills, food, and social activities once there.
Friends and family
As we said, moving abroad is a huge decision and you need to decide whether you’re going to be okay with leaving your friends and family behind. If you are the kind of person that gets homesick easily, living abroad might not be for you.
However, if you’re okay with the distance between you and your loved ones but you’re worried about making a new network when you arrive, you can prepare for this too. Look for any communities or social events that take place in your new area to help you meet new people. You might also want to download apps that allow you to connect with like-minded individuals so you can start forming new friendships and building a community right away.
It’s important that you have at least a basic understanding of the local religious and cultural rules and beliefs. Otherwise, you might find that these conflict with your own. Do your research and ensure you know as much as possible about the main religions, cultural practices and holidays, etc. to help you get started.
Shipping and storage
Finally, you need to think about how you would ship your belongings over to your new home. You need to ask yourself the following:
- Would you need to put a lot of stuff in storage?
- Or would you get rid of a lot of your stuff and start fresh?
- Will you want to send your stuff over right away?
- Or will you be looking for accommodation when you get there and need to delay the shipping until you have found a new home?
Getting a better understanding of what your situation will be means you can better prepare to ship your belongings abroad. If you’re able to drive to your new home, for example, this might be the simplest solution. Otherwise, you’ll need to find and book a courier service that can help to safely transport your belongings. Because you certainly don’t want to be lugging numerous heavy bags with you on an airplane!
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Guest post by Stuart Cooke | Digital Marketing Manager at MyBaggage.com