When it comes to big life decisions, moving abroad is up there with the best of them. It’s an exciting prospect, full of new possibilities and opportunities. But it’s also a daunting one – your entire life will be uprooted, which is why it’s so important that you take the time to ensure that you’ve got all the important stuff covered before you make the move.
Decided To Move Abroad
There are a lot of things to think about when moving abroad, but there are some key things that you need to pay particular attention to.
1. Health Insurance
When moving abroad, you need to consider your own medical history – the things you’ll likely need to be covered, the risks you face, and so on – as well as the healthcare system in the country you’re moving to. Looking at the different coverage plans international health insurance companies offer is a good place to start.
Make sure that you understand what is and isn’t covered in each plan, and compare the costs to find the one that best suits your needs. The last thing you want is to find yourself needing medical treatment and not being able to get it because you’re not covered in a country where you don’t have a support system in place yet.
The good news is that there are lots of different options out there, so you should be able to find something that works for you.
There’s a lot of paperwork involved in moving abroad, from visas and passports to work permits and residency permits. It can be a lot to keep track of, so make sure you start the process as early as possible and give yourself plenty of time to get everything in order.
Keep all your important documents in one place, so that you know where they are when you need them. It might also be a good idea to make a notarized copy of everything, just to be on the safe side. Besides the documents already mentioned, make sure that you have your diploma or degree, as well as any other relevant qualifications, ready to go.
In some instances that means that you’ll have to get them apostilled, so again, give yourself plenty of time to do that.
A lot of people have a starter home when they first move – just an affordable place that they can stay at until they get their bearings and figure out where they want to live long-term.
This does make a lot of sense – after all, you want to ensure you have a good grasp of what the different areas are like before committing to a more permanent residence. However, it’s important to not just go for the cheapest option out there.
Most countries have certain neighborhoods with affordable housing that aren’t the safest or the most desirable. Do your research so that you can find a starter home in a good area, even if it does mean spending a bit more money upfront. It’ll be worth it in the long run.
4. The Language Barrier
A shock most people face when abroad is the language barrier – especially if they thought they had a pretty good grasp of the language before they moved. It’s important to remember that the language taught in schools and courses is the formal version of it, and more likely than not, it differs quite significantly from the way people actually speak on a day-to-day basis. It can be difficult to understand locals, which is why it’s so important to make an effort to learn the informal jargon before you move. It’ll make your life a whole lot easier, from getting around and doing everyday tasks to making friends and networking.
Some countries have a highly developed public transportation system, while others… not so much. In the latter case, you might find yourself having to rely on your own two feet, a car, or a bicycle to get around. In smaller towns and villages, this might not be too big of an issue.
But if you’re moving to a large city, it’s important to take the time to figure out the best way to get around – both in terms of cost and convenience. If you’re going to be using public transportation regularly, it’s worth getting a pass or card that gives you a discount. Most places also have ride-sharing apps, which can be a cheaper and more convenient alternative to taking a taxi or bus.
6. Jobs And Workers’ Rights
Whether you already have a job lined up, or you’re planning to go job hunting once you’ve settled in, it’s important to be aware of the local job market and workers’ rights in your new country. Things like the minimum wage, working hours, and vacation days are regulated by law and differ from place to place.
Make sure you’re familiar with the laws before you start looking for a job so that you know what to expect in terms of salary and working conditions. It’s also worth checking out the job market in general – what kind of jobs are available, and is there anything you need to do in order to qualify for them?
Are there any language requirements? Knowing all this beforehand will make the process a whole lot smoother.
There are plenty of things to think about and prepare for before you make the move, from sorting out your paperwork to getting to grips with the local language.