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Moving abroad? Read these tips for potential expats

December 12th, 2019

As a potential expat, you’ve been through it all. You’ve put in the effort to gain the opportunity to work overseas. You’ve packed your bags and mentally prepared yourself to leave your old life behind. Before your final move, look beyond the excitement and adventure to weigh the pros and cons of your decision. Beginning a new chapter in an unfamiliar land can be challenging and more so if you are a first-time expat.

Also Read: Financial Planning If You’re Moving Abroad

Here are some tips to help you overcome initial obstacles while you’re abroad.

Double-check everything

Leaving your native land to begin a new life can be exhilarating and nerve-wracking at the same time, and it is best to do all your research in advance. Getting a resident visa in a new country requires expats to complete certain formalities. Right from getting your paperwork in place to offering legitimate answers on your visa interview, planning can ease your transition into the new country. 

Give yourself time
It is natural to feel overwhelmed in a new country. Moreover, tackling different things while still getting adjusted to a new environment could trigger some severe stress. From renting living space to finding a trustworthy doctor, relocation is never smooth. But give yourself time, be patient and stay positive, you will eventually find a rhythm to your new life in a foreign country.

Learn the local language

One of the essential mediums for building a social connection in a new country is language. While it is fine not to learn a new language immediately, knowing the basics such as ‘Hello’ and ‘Thank You’ in the local lingo can help you kickstart a conversation with the locals. This tip is particularly helpful for those who are moving to a non-English-speaking country. 

Tip: Use a platform like YouTube to learn the local language or get a translation app on your phone to guide you through your first few weeks abroad.

Make a move judiciously

 If it’s your first visit to a foreign country, it is best to travel light. Pack relevant documents and essentials only. Carry utilities like a multi-country adaptor, medicines, and clothes that are appropriate for the weather. You can ship your other belongings through a reasonably priced shipping company. This is where the double-checking of all your overseas resources will come in handy.

Other significant changes, like creating a new bank account, is best done online. You could also use online banking features to continue paying your bills back home. Embracing change in a new environment can be difficult, so research thoroughly in advance and efficiently manage things that can be taken care of while you are in your home country, this will ensure there are fewer hassles to take care of once you land abroad.

Keep your funds handy

Uncertainties can happen anytime, and when they arrive while you are setting up your new life abroad, it is essential that you are financially secure. Even if you do not have access to a local bank immediately, ensure you have an international travel card to take care of unforeseen contingencies.

Tip: Always keep a small stash of US dollars as an extra precaution in case your wallet is lost or stolen.

Moving abroad and building a new life is not a cakewalk, and settling into a new environment can be emotionally and physically exhausting. Keep these tips in mind to help you transition to your new life abroad and kick start yet another exciting phase of life.