Moving abroad is a big adventure, but one that requires a lot of preparation and organisation. The process of moving can take many months while you secure the right documentation and find accommodation.
Your needs will be different if you’re moving alone or with a family, and whether you already have somewhere to live once you move out there. Taking the time to carefully plan can make the move simpler.
Let’s look at 5 key things to consider before you move abroad.
Before you move, it is a good idea to begin learning the language. This is an important element of moving to a new country and will help you communicate with locals much easier.
You could sign-up for online classes, use a mobile app, or join a structured course with an education provider.
Understanding the local language makes day-to-day transactions and conversations less stressful. From asking for a train ticket to opening a bank account, speaking in the local language of a country will serve you well.
You should consider getting international health insurance before you move abroad, as this can protect the health of you and your family in case of illness.
Having international private medical insurance in place could be a pre-requisite for obtaining a visa in certain countries, where you will be required to produce an insurance certificate to prove you have cover. But it can also give you assurance that you have taken the right steps to safeguard your well-being.
At APRIL International, we provide international private health insurance solutions to expatriates of most nationalities as well as many local nationals around the world*. As part of your insurance plan, you will receive access to a second medical opinion service as well as a global network of blood banks which provide blood to almost any location in the world within 12-18 hours, and worldwide security assistance via our partner Crisis24, all included as standard.
You could be required to secure a visa before you move abroad. Do some research of the steps you need to follow to apply for one in your chosen country, giving yourself plenty of time.
If you’re moving abroad for work, your company might handle this for you. However, this will not always be the case. As well as visas, check your passport is in date. The length of time it needs to be in date depends on the country.
Keep your documentation stored safely. Losing your passport in a foreign country can be stressful, and you might need to go to your country’s embassy to replace it. This could be costly and take time.
Another thing on checklist should be to organise your living situation. For instance, you may need to sell or rent out your house before you move. It could also take some time to find the right property in a new country.
This could be a long process, relying on the conditions of the housing market. It could take a long time to sell your house, or you could end up in a position where the house sells faster than you anticipated.
Additionally, look into the location where you see yourself living. Factors that may influence your move include schools if you have children, access to public transport to get around the neighbourhood, and vicinity to local amenities.
Some leave finding a home until they are in the country, but if you want to organise this in advance of your move, you could save yourself a lot of stress. You will have somewhere to settle and call your own without having to wonder when you’re leaving.
However, it is important to consider your finances for this. Renting accommodation could mean a heavy up-front payment, and you could be stuck with a certain move-in date. Staying on top of this can make the transition to your new home smoother.
You may need to save a considerable amount of money to live abroad, especially if you don’t initially have a job when you move.
Unexpected costs can quickly arise, so it is good to have some money set aside for this. You never know when something could go wrong, and you may need access to your savings.
The country you’re moving to may be more expensive than your current one, so creating a new budget could be useful. It is worth having some local currency to hand, as some places might only allow cash payments.
It is also important to open a local bank account so that you can easily pay your bills, rent, and other cost of living necessities.
*There are some countries where the plan is not available due to local insurance regulations or exchange controls.
Making friends in a new country is tough and it can be difficult knowing where to start. But once you have a group of friends you feel comfortable with, you will feel more settled.
Whether you’re already living in Hong Kong or planning to relocate there, here is all the information you will need about the local healthcare system...
In order to counter an unprecedented labour shortage, the Canadian government is developing an ambitious immigration programme, with the objective of 465,000 new permanent residents in 2023, 485,000 in 2024 and 500,000 in 2025...
For expats planning to travel or move to Thailand, understanding the healthcare system—the quality of care available, coverage options, and the process for accessing care—is crucial...