The ultimate guide for moving abroad
Whether you’re planning to study abroad for a year or find a new permanent home overseas, moving abroad can seem like an overwhelming feat. You’re excited to begin this new chapter in your life, of course, but you might not know where to begin in the planning process.
In this guide, we highlight the essential things you need to do prior to your international move, as well as some tips for making this major transition go as smoothly as possible. Safe travels!
Before you begin
Wanderlust and a longing for adventure can entice travelers to jump at the first opportunity to move abroad and experience a new culture, but this hasty decision-making can lead to a series of negative consequences. Moving to a foreign country is a life-altering choice that shouldn’t be taken lightly or seen as a spontaneous adventure.
Before you decide to pack your bags and leave the country on a whim, spend some time honestly examining yourself and your current situation:
- Carefully consider your motives.
Are you moving in the hopes of finding a better job or continuing your education? Are you longing for a change of pace from your current day-to-day life? Is this a move towards a new country, or is it an attempt to move away from unpleasant situations?
There are countless reasons people decide to move abroad, and while thousands do find contentment in a different country, some people get stuck in the mindset that “the grass is always greener on the other side.” If you don’t think through your motives for moving abroad, you may feel disappointed or lonely once you settle into your new home.
- Consult with your loved ones.
Moving overseas will make a large impact in your community and in the lives of your family, partner, and friends. For instance, you can’t expect your partner to suddenly quit their job and relocate to a new country without giving them enough time to think things through. If you have children or other family members who rely on you, taking their needs and feelings into account is also a necessary step in the decision process.
- Visit the country.
At least once, you should stay in the country you’re thinking of moving to. If possible, visit several times over the course of a year to get a good feel for what your life would be like if you moved there.
- Do your research.
Stay updated with the current events occurring in that country, and thoroughly research the history and culture of the region. Read books, skim through travel blogs, ask friends who have visited the country about what they thought, and gather as much information as you can. Once you have a realistic picture of what this country is like, then you can start planning your move with a clear mind.
Planning for your move
Many people underestimate the amount of things they must do before leaving the country and don’t give themselves enough time to prepare for the move. You can avoid the stress of feeling rushed or forgetting important items by adding these following tasks to your to-do list:
- Arrange your visas.
Check out the visa requirements for the country you want to move to and make sure you apply for the right type of visa (student, worker, etc.).
- Locate crucial documents.
Make sure you have important records readily available, such as your marriage certificate, birth certificate, medical history, and driver’s license.
- Clean out your home.
Go through your entire house and separate your items into piles of things you want to keep, donate, sell online, or throw out. Moving to a new country should be a fresh start, so don’t take your clutter with you!
- Determine health care arrangements.
See if your future home country has health insurance or if you will need to buy private insurance for you and your family. You should also visit your doctor for a general check-up and to find arrangements for obtaining your prescription medications in a different region.
- Decide on a specific area.
For instance, if someone says they’re moving to the U.S., they could be going to the tropical Hawaiian island of Oahu or the chilly city of Anchorage, Alaska. Different regions of your new country will vary greatly in cultural norms, climate, and lifestyles just as much as the states differ from one another.
- Find housing.
There are countless blogs, articles, and forums that offer specific tips for finding accommodations in your country. Once you have made housing arrangements in the new location, try to time your move with the end of your lease if you’re currently renting a home or an apartment.
- Stay connected.
Even when you’re thousands of miles away, you can still reliably communicate with your loved ones without breaking the bank. With the BNESIM virtual SIM card app, you can create a local phone number so your family can call you internationally for the same cost as a local call. You can also add multiple lines, have video calls, and text without having to pay expensive roaming fees while traveling abroad.
Click here to try it out for free today!
Cover photo credits: hautetraveldiaries