The digital world is enabling more individuals to move overseas, as businesses shift from office work to online tasks. Once you are able to work offsite, you may have the freedom to move outside the country. This could be a very exciting time in your life, because you have the chance to grow and explore an entirely new environment.
Take a look at these seven moving tips if you want to plan for a life abroad.
Websites and forums dedicated to living abroad have sprung up online. A growing number of expatriates and digital nomads have left their home countries to explore new areas.
If you’re inclined to join them, first look into local requirements for visas and extended stays. Some countries will provide you with an education visa if you just enroll in a single language course. Other nations have very strict requirements, and you may not be able to renew your visa for long.
Government websites will provide you with important paperwork and statistics regarding life in another country.
2. Talk to other expatriates
Reach out to others who have already made the move. Many student organizations will have representatives to describe the shifts in culture and environment. Talk to people online who are currently living in the country and region you wish to explore.
Find out what financial challenges and successful opportunities they discovered. Growing your network of expatriates can also give you a safety net, since you’ll already know people in country before you arrive.
3. Make temporary housing arrangements
As you browse apartment listing boards and property websites, you may feel confident about arriving in a new area and immediately scoring a great place to live. No matter how sure you feel about these arrangements, you want to have a backup plan before your arrival.
Book a hotel room just in case plans fall through. A Realtor may be sick, or he or she may not have anyone who can translate the local language for you. Don’t assume you will immediately have long-term housing accommodations until you have signed a lease contract.
4. Check currency exchange rates
Keep an eye on the market to see when would be the ideal time to change your currency. Obviously, you want to get the most out of each dollar. Keep an eye on fees before you exchange money at particular locations, since these can vary quite a bit.
You might consider exchanging money long before your move, if the rates are particularly good.
5. Secure transportation
Research driver’s license requirements and search for local car dealers in your new country. You should also check out public transportation in the areas you plan to move to.
Study the bus schedules and see if the routes run near residential neighborhoods, grocery stores, banks, and points of interest. Find out if the area can be navigated on a bike and find out if it is safe to do so. Some countries dedicate a lot of infrastructure funds to keeping bicyclists safe.
6. Store or sell your belongings
You can minimize your moving costs by traveling light. If you plan to keep larger possessions long-term, consider putting them in storage at your home country until you have lived in the new one for some time. If you are not planning on keeping or moving with certain belongings, you may be able to sell them.
7. Learn about the culture
One of the most exciting parts about moving outside your home nation is becoming immersed in a new culture. Study up on common phrases and words, so you are not completely lost with the foreign language. Learn about etiquette, so you can interact with job recruiters and new friends with ease.