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Moving abroad is often the start of an exciting adventure. Whether you’re simply looking for a change of scenery or want to excel in your career – life in a new country can be an incredibly rewarding experience.
Of course, while there are many advantages, it can also be extremely stressful. Adjusting to a different culture isn’t easy, especially if you have never relocated before.
In this article, we are going to discuss the dos and don’ts of moving internationally so that you can better prepare yourself. Sound interesting? Then let’s get started!
Do: Prioritize health and well-being
As we mentioned already, moving to another country can be stressful and takes a toll on your mental and physical well-being. Try to focus on prioritizing your health by eating well, exercising, and practicing self-care.
It’s also important to remember that you might not have health coverage upon arrival. You must invest in the proper insurance so that you don’t end up with huge bills or limited medical access.
Check out this Insurance for American Expats to learn more.
Don’t: Neglect your savings
You should already know that an international move can cost a lot of money. Before your departure, ensure that you have enough to keep yourself afloat for at least 6-12 months.
Even if you have a new job lined up, it’s always best to have the funds for an emergency. You’ll need to factor in housing costs, food, transport, and utilities into your budget. You should also read more about the country’s cost of living to predict expenses ahead of time.
Do: Visit your new country in advance
Moving to a new country without visiting first can be thrilling, but it’s not a wise decision to make. Leaving behind your old life is a huge commitment, and the last thing you want is to regret your choice.
By visiting the country in advance you can get a feel of what it is really like to live there. You’re also able to start searching for job positions and accommodation options to make your relocation much easier.
Don’t: Hideaway after your arrival
After you’ve officially moved in it’s normal to struggle with forming new relationships. However, while you may want to hide away, it’s best to get out and explore your new home.
The more you open up to the environment and embrace the changes, the easier it will be to adjust. Finding hobbies and joining local expat groups can be a great way to make friends and gain familiarity with your surroundings.
Do: Learn some of the local language
If you are moving to a country where you don’t speak the language, it’s crucial that you take lessons. Even learning just a few common phrases can make it much easier to settle in.
Not only is it a sign of respect, but you’ll be able to seek help if you need it. While in-person classes are best there are a variety of different apps that you can use. You can find some great ones here.
Don’t: Search for accommodation last minute
Finding accommodation as an expat can be rather difficult and it’s not something that you should leave up until the last minute. The moving process can take a lot of time and staying in a hotel or Airbnb quickly gets costly.
If you have friends, family members, or co-workers in your destination country, ask for their advice in finding a new home. There may also be specific real estates that offer special assistance for expats.
Do: Prepare for the culture shock
Culture shock is a very real thing and can happen to anyone. Even if you’re really looking forward to moving, adjusting to different traditions and beliefs is challenging.
While it may seem never-ending, things will get easier. Try not to compare the location to home and instead approach things with an open mind. Who knows, there may actually be some elements that you prefer.
Don’t: Expect nothing to go wrong
Finally, as much as you may try to ensure things go smoothly, there will always be some downsides to your move. Whether it be losing your luggage or struggling to find a place to live – don’t let the negatives overwhelm you.
Learn from your lessons and seek support from those around you. Just think of all of the stories you’ll be able to tell your children one day!
And that’s it! As you can see from the above, there are certainly both positives and negatives to moving abroad. By following the tips above and knowing what to avoid, you can ensure that your relocation is enjoyable and successful. It may take some time, but soon you’ll be enjoying life just like the locals.