Moving abroad is an exciting experience but it could be quite stressful and challenging. There are so many things to consider, organise and get done before you leave your home country. Mary Johnson has prepared some useful tips on how to begin your expat life smoothly and minimise the pressure.
1. Choose the right destination.
Moving to a new place is a thrilling adventure, so choosing the right destination for you will make the transition even smoother. Researching the customs, holidays, and cuisine can help you make up your mind on where you’d think you’d fit in the best. Keep in mind that every place is different, so drafting up a pro and con list can also facilitate your decision. If you are still undecided towards the end, you can also think about visiting the destination directly beforehand to see if it’s the right match for you.
Getting your documents and information in order before you arrive at your destination is important. Understanding what you need, and what you are asked for by the new country will also help you find an occupation faster; of course, if you are planning on moving there through a job you can speak about the requirements directly through your original company. As a UK citizen, there are specific countries where you will need to get a visa in order to go there, just be sure you are well informed and organised beforehand to save any avoidable stress.
3. Packing up your life.
Of course, moving requires you to bring quite some objects along with you. If you can fit most of your life in a few suitcases, you’re one of a kind. But for all of us that need a little more, there are services that understand your struggle and help you along the way. Companies that deal with international removals, like Bliss Moving and Logistics, can also help prevent any delays or lost luggage situations, which unfortunately are not unheard of when travelling abroad!
Certainly, an important aspect to keep into consideration is the financial one. Decide on the amount of ready cash you will bring along for the first few days while you’re settling yourself in. Then, opening up a bank account will be the next step. Inform yourself on what documents and requirements are needed for a new bank account, and if you need to be a resident to open one (often there are also options available for non-residents to open a bank account with slightly different restrictions). Also, double check what the currency exchange is between your new home and your old one; you might get more money when you make the exchange!
5. Talk to family before you go.
Don’t leave anything unsaid and let your family talk to you about any concerns they have, or talk to them about how you’re feeling before such a big change. It is important to leave on your new adventure knowing that your support system isn’t far; even though geographically it might be! Keeping in touch is also a fun way of sharing all your new adventures, pictures, and funny stories of your first few days. Let them know you’re OK, and that they can come visit as soon as you settle yourself.
6. Learn the language.
A great way to avoid any initial difficulties is getting accustomed to the new language. Eventually, you will need to reach a level you’re comfortable with, and in which communicating with those around you is easy enough. Just even starting out with knowing the basics will help you in the workplace, in your daily encounters, and even getting around without necessarily asking for help. Once you arrive think about doing a language exchange or attending a language course as these can also be fun ways of meeting new people as well as learning the lingo!
7. Meeting people/Making friends.
Once you start familiarising with your environment and the language, the fun part of meeting new people can start! You will definitely be interesting to those around you and stand out from the rest; you’re both something new to each other! What’s more, once you start building friendships you will be able to start living your new country like a true resident!
Moving somewhere completely new can be one of the most satisfying and rewarding decisions you’ve ever made, but it isn’t easy and for some, it is more difficult than others. Allow yourself time to adjust and get used to your new surroundings, and try to keep busy in order to stop you staying in and feeling homesick. Within a few months, you will probably find you have created your own new routine and will be enjoying the vast array of new experiences on offer for expats in their new country!
Author: Mary Johnson