Ever wonder what it would be like in another country?
Are you able to ENJOY life abroad?Is the grass really greener on the other side?
Will you take a deep breath and DIVE?
Before jumping ahead, I made up a list of 12 questions to ask yourself before moving! These can help you in your decision.
Question #1 Location
- Where will you move to?
Location is a KEY factor! Make a plan of where you will live.
Just like buying a car, you take time and consider your options.
Research thoroughly! Search online for housing, areas, expat blogs or groups where you can find discussions and information.
You are in a strange country, so you want a place you feel comfortable, a HOME.
Think about ‘’where you LIKE to live’’ and ‘’where your career can be ‘’ .
Question # 2
What to pack or not to pack?
Packing for any move is a stressful activity.
- Start thinking : What do you Pack?
- what do you really need (i.e. what you will take along)
- what do you think you need. (I.e. what you can get rid of, give away to friends or sell)
You can also ask family or friends if they hold some of your belongings for you if you have plans on returning.
· Question # 3.
- Why would you move?
- What is your goal?
To start a career or develop your career or grow personally through the experience of a new culture?
To make more money, to find a better climate, to live cheaper?
Question # 4. Language
- Do you speak the local language?
- Will you learn some key words and phrases before you go?
The number one TIP from every expat is: Learn the language!
A basic level is fine! Daily small sentences so you can try to find your way or buy some food!
Start BEFORE you move.
Conversation is KEY!
You will be surprised at how much more you will enjoy your new home and how quickly you will be accepted and respected by the locals when you attempt speaking their own language.
Question # 5. Financial buffer
- Do you have some savings aside in case of emergency?
- What is you need to suddenly move back home?
Make sure you have some MONEY set aside for your transition period.
It takes TIME to find & register in a new bank.
Leaving your home without any savings is a huge RISK.
Remember you need to register in many new forms (utilities, services, health, bank, etc…) which may require an initial amount.
Question # 6. Family
Is your family moving with you? Are they READY for this big step?
Is your dream also their DREAM? Are they terrified or HAPPY?
Without their total agreement or excitement, you may regret every single step of the move.
TALK to them, LISTEN to them, help them INFORM them everything you know.
Find ways for them to make them feel Home such as sports, schools, or other hobbies they like.
Question #7 Healthcare- Medical HELP
- Will you have local healthcare ?
- Do you need private insurance?
You can get sick ANYWHERE!
Some countries offer great healthcare services, others none at all. Know WHO your DOCTOR is BEFORE you get sick will avoid panic the day you do get ill!
Question #8 How will I meet people?
Do you know someone in your new country?
What will you do to meet others?
You prefer meeting Locals or Expats like you?
Upon arrival you may find yourself ALONE, so GET OUT there!
If you have a job, you start with your colleagues to talk and connect to. No job, try churches, pubs, clubs, your children’s school, and sporting associations (e.g. tennis, running), expat events, knitting club, or a gym.
Search, ASK, seek, go out, and FIND others to connect!
Question #9 Homesickness
Do you miss things when gone?
Can you be separate from your friends and family?
Are you prepared for a big change?
Homesickness can happen to ANYONE! And it can become a huge STRESSOR.
ASK people who have experience living abroad. Or, search internet, expat blogs or forums that offer opinions on foreign living situations.
Question # 10. What do you need for work?
Do you need a visa or other permit?
Can you register without a job?’
Can you work without being registered?
Find out what documentation, rules and regulations before you move. Often, a work visa will be necessary before you will be allowed into the country as resident. Do your RESEARCH!!!
Question #11. Living standards
- What is the price of a bread, a bottle of water?
- How much will you earn?
- What will you pay for rent?
If you research you will avoid big surprises or being shocked of prices when wanting to buy some groceries.
Question #12. Attitude
Are you open-minded?
Are you flexible?
Do you mind changes?