After a long 18 months of lockdowns and isolations, a lot of people are deciding to relocate to a new country and experience new ways of living. In fact, in a recent survey, 50% of people said they are looking to make a move this year. Whether you’ve moved abroad with the help of an employer or you’re moving over and doing a lot of it yourself, you’ll find these tips helpful.
Take your time with admin
Depending on how you view admin, this is probably not the most fun of jobs but one of the most important. You will want to be aware of as much as possible to make sure there are no surprises from researching regulations and laws, shipping your belongings, insurance, permits, vaccines, the job market (if you’re not moving with your employer), and renting.
Remember to note when your important documents are about to expire.
Understand the culture
Whether you expect your new country to be completely different from your home country in their way of life, or fairly similar, culture shock can still happen. To help with this, you can get to know the area you have moved to by walking around and talking to locals. You can also research local etiquette to make sure you fully understand and don’t cause offence.
Have a financial buffer
You’ve probably done a lot of research already into how much it will cost to live in your new country of choice but it is wise to also have a financial buffer just in case as a lot of places require money upfront for accommodation or to cover any unexpected costs. If this is something your employer will be covering, make sure you understand exactly how much they are giving you so that you are best prepared.
Before you move, you will also want to check the average food costs, rent and utility expenses and compare with what you spend now. This will give you an idea of how your outgoings will change and will help you plan realistically.
Take care of your mental wellbeing
Making a move abroad is a huge moment in your life, especially if you’re moving with your family. It’s a big change to move abroad and you may find leaving a familiar routine and comfortable surroundings tough. Set up regular calls with your family and friends back home to make you feel less lonely and take care of your mental health in ways you find helpful such as mediating, exercising in ways you enjoy, and talking to people. You can also look into expat coaching to help you with a range of things that expats uniquely experience from stepping out of your comfort zone to transitioning to different work cultures and lots more, to help you make your time abroad amazing.
Find expat groups
You’ll be amazed about how many expat communities exist! A simple Google or Facebook search will connect you with lots of expat groups in the country you’re moving to. These are a great way to meet new people and network. Similarly, if you’re moving with your employer, they can help you with settling in so make sure you ask HR for details. You can also meet new people through any interests you may have, such as fitness. Meetup is also a great site to find local events and meet new people.
More than anything, embrace the exciting challenge ahead of you and prioritise your mental health. There will be a few hiccups along the way but the more organised and prepared you are, the more successful your move abroad will be. Do you have any tips you can share for fellow expats?