7 Things To Know Before Exploring Foreign Living
The opportunity to live abroad has been associated with the ability to find purpose in life. It is a unique experience that allows individuals to get acquainted with different cultures, lifestyles, traditions, and cuisines, allowing them to become better versions of themselves; both intellectually and emotionally.
Whether it is a one-way ticket to your dream country or a once in a lifetime job opportunity, living abroad can be a truly rewarding experience. So if you feel like you need a change from your usual routine and wish to go globe-trotting to explore, grow, and make new memories, we have created the ultimate guide to help you on your new journey.
Sort Out Your Travel Requirements
Firstly, look into the visa requirements and assemble all your important documents such as a valid passport, birth certificate, and financial, medical, employment and education records. You might want to look into getting a certified translation of your documents if you are applying for an English-speaking country such as the US. This will help save time and money going forward.
It is advisable to start the visa process early on and factor in any added costs during the application procedure. Also, remember to search for cheap flights through metasearch engines such as Skyscanner and Kayak to get the best deals. A pro tip is to make photocopies of all important documents and have PDF versions saved on your phone in case you need them urgently during your travels.
Find A Place To Live
It is important to familiarise yourself with the rental rates, average utility costs, and any taxes you need to pay. Some places allow short term rentals above market price in case you feel unsure about getting tied in a long-term contract from the get-go. However, if you need time to settle in and find the ideal neighborhood that suits your lifestyle, opt for affordable hotels, Airbnb or couch surfing.
You may also want to search your future home on Google Maps to check nearby facilities such as grocery stores, parks, or pubs. It is also wise to check relevant facts and statistics such as crime rates, public transport facilities, and food options near your prospective house. In the end, however, you need to trust your gut and take a leap of faith!
Explore Work Opportunities To Support Your Lifestyle
Dropping everything and moving abroad without a plan only works in the movies. In reality, you need to make appropriate financial considerations to ensure that you have enough money to support yourself during your travels. If you plan to relocate for a short period of time and have some savings lying around, now is a good time to use them. In case you predominantly plan on living off your savings, we suggest finding part-time work such as teaching or bartending to keep yourself busy and earning at the same time.
Importantly, remember to apply for a work visa, get a work permit, and any other documents needed as per the laws of the country. This may vary on a case by case basis; for example, the US may require a Social Security Number while Japan may require a Certificate of Eligibility. So be sure to check with official sources and talk to your future employer to ensure you have all the necessary paperwork sorted beforehand.
Figure Out The Best Healthcare Plan
Acquainting yourself with the country’s healthcare system is imperative before relocating abroad. You need to figure out if your employer gives you health insurance and whether it is sufficient to cover prospective costs. In some countries, such as the US, you will have to opt for private health insurance. In others, such as the UK, you need to pay for the immigration health surcharge during your visa application to get access to the government-funded National Health Service (NHS). It is advisable, therefore, to do preliminary research regarding the health system before moving.
Start Packing Early On
When deciding to move abroad, it is wise to make sure that you take with you only what’s necessary. This has two advantages; first, it will help you sell unwanted items and make some money before the big move. Second, you will end up saving a ton of money on moving costs.
Moving to a new place is also the best time to do an audit of your wardrobe and donate clothes that you no longer wear. You can even consider getting rid of things you no longer use or need. This is a great way to declutter and get organized.
Take Care Of Everything At Home
Moving abroad means tying loose ends and taking care of all your commitments at home. So make sure you inform your bank, cell phone service provider, and any other subscription service about your plan and reroute all your mail. Additionally, it is also wise to take care of any outstanding loans, taxes, or debts at home.
If you own a house or a car, you may consider selling it well ahead of time to get a good price. Additionally, if you have pets, make sure that they get the appropriate vaccinations and that you apply for a permit to take them with you. If you decide against taking your pet, give yourself enough time so that you find them a loving home.
We also advise getting an International Driving Permit if you ever feel like renting a car and taking a road trip when you’re abroad.
Get Acquainted With The Culture And Lifestyle
Last but not least, familiarise yourself with the culture and lifestyle of your new home. It is also advisable to learn a few basic phrases if you aren’t fluent in the local language. You may also want to find out about national holidays and upcoming festivals so that you can take full advantage of the opportunities and diversity your new home has to offer.
Give yourself time to adjust to your new surroundings and be open to meeting people with different views and perspectives. This is an exciting time to engage and learn from all kinds of people, and to make the most of it, all you need to do is be open to change.
All the best and good luck on moving abroad! Bon Voyage!