In case you’re wondering how to live in another country and thinking whether you’ll be able to pull it off, you should know that an estimated number of US citizens living overseas is about 9 million. So, if they made it, why wouldn’t you?
Yes, every change is difficult and requires adjustment and immersing yourself completely in another culture. But, to be honest, if you don’t try, you’ll never know what opportunities and possibilities are waiting for you all over the world.
Let’s find out what preliminary steps you should take before throwing a goodbye party and moving overseas.
Preparatory Steps for Moving Abroad
Start your research and preparation as soon as possible. Living on the other side of the world is a serious matter, so you’ll need some time to work everything out. That being said, you should start planning all the steps for your life across the sea at least several months before your move. Let’s figure out some crucial things you shouldn’t overlook.
Save Some Money
Planning an international relocation and starting from scratch somewhere far away from your homeland might be frustrating if you don’t have enough savings. In addition to international moving services, visa costs, and plane tickets, you should consider housing expenses and utilities for the first period in an unfamiliar setting. That’s why you might want to do some calculations, work out a budget for all the anticipated expenses, and try to save up a little over that sum.
Start Looking for the Right Accommodation
Searching for a suitable home to settle down should be one of your primary tasks. It should be done before you board the plane if you want to avoid living in a hostel or hotel while hunting for the house or apartment you like. This way, you will prevent additional expenses and be able to buy a home you like and can afford.
Find a New Job
It’s needless to say that having a normal life requires a regular monthly salary. Unless you’re relocating for work, you’ll need to look for a job in the new location. That’s why you should do some research about the job market and jobs in demand. Take enough time for this task and keep in mind that other things will be a piece of cake once you find the right employment.
Overcome the Language Barrier
Depending on what your desired destination is, a low English-speaking proportion of the population might be a problem. Most people around the world speak English to some extent, but you should count on many of those that don’t. For example, in the Czech Republic, Costa Rica, Thailand, South Korea, or Uruguay.
Still, there are plenty of countries where English is the primary language, so if you choose Canada or New Zealand, communication won’t be an obstacle. Otherwise, you should learn the basics of the foreign language – that will alleviate your adjustment period and help with getting to know the locals. Before your relocation, make sure you’ve done all things necessary for breaking the language barrier.
As a Prospective Expat, Connect With Other Citizens Living Abroad
Try to contact fellow US citizens who live in your potential destination to provide you with valuable information about life in a foreign country and how to make your relocation as easy as possible. But, if you don’t have a personal network outside America, you can always do some web research and try these helpful resources:
- Association of American Residents Overseas
- American Citizens Abroad
- Transitions Abroad
- Expat Exchange
Prepare All Important Documents
Are you familiar with the documents needed to travel abroad? When relocating across national borders, you should take into consideration plenty of paperwork necessary to live and work abroad legally:
- Visa requirements
- The appropriate type of visa
- Documentation for apartment rentals
- Birth and marriage certificates
- Air tickets
If you want to get more details about different visa options and additional terms and conditions, you should visit your destination country’s government website and get a complete insight.
Whether You’re Moving to Germany or Thailand, You Should Do Some Research About the Destination Country
Relocating from a known environment to an unfamiliar one, new and strange, is stressful for most people. You don’t know what to expect there, including people, food, weather, way of life, politics, nature, etc. To prepare yourself and your family for a cultural shock, and to conquer it as soon as possible, you should learn more about your future homeland.
It’s Crucial to Learn More About the Culture
If you’re moving to Turkey, you might be surprised by the number of people who are perhaps too friendly for your taste. In case you’re relocating to Seoul, Korean culture might seem strange to you due to the profound influence of Confucian principles. Wherever you move, being informed about your ultimate destination is essential. That’s how you can avoid misunderstandings and unpleasant situations.
Don’t Forget About History and Politics
Some nations are quite sensitive when it comes to political issues, as well as their history. If you would like to make friends after moving, you should have at least basic knowledge about your prospective country’s past and present socio-political situation. Consider a subscription to several different newspapers as a useful starting step toward achieving that goal.
Which Are Politically Stable Countries
Are you wondering which countries have the most liberal and straightforward policies and procedures for expats? Here are the ones that are traditionally welcoming to a foreign population:
- New Zealand
Other Topics to Consider When Thinking About How to Live in Another Country
The shift from expat to compatriot is not easy at all. Technical things are just an overture for a more complex adjustment period. Some people overcome it effortlessly, while others require considerably more patience and time. Whatever group you belong to, you should know that dealing with culture shock is something you can’t avoid. But, with the right preparation, you can make it less difficult.
Prepare for the Cultural Shock
Being an expat means breaking out of your comfortable cocoon and immersing yourself in the ways of the locals. If you let go of stereotypes and wrong impressions, you’ve already taken the first essential step. And don’t forget to give yourself enough time to accept all the differences and little quirks.
Think About Kids
Dedicate enough time to your children and share with them information about the future country – picture it to them as a cozy home with plenty of friends and interesting opportunities.
Also, find out what are the schooling options there – public, private, or international schools with classes in English. Choose the best solution for your offspring ahead of time and avoid possible headaches.
Last but not Least – Find Reliable International Movers
It’s essential to be thoughtful and thorough when it comes to relocating across the sea. That includes all the preliminary steps related to your stay in the first few months and finding and hiring international moving services. Start with that process several months prior to your planned departure and make sure that your chosen company provides all the services you need.
Every Change Is Challenging, but Adjustments Are Sometimes Necessary
Moving to other countries means starting your life from scratch. Everyone would like to live in a dreamland where everything is perfect and to your liking. But, the truth is sometimes completely different and requires some adjustments and compromises. However, these changes don’t need to be too stressful if you undertake all the necessary preliminary steps before moving across the world.
Thinking ahead of time about how to live in another country, your job, accommodation, the cost of living index, crime and safety, customs, and laws might significantly affect your overall impressions after arriving at your new destination. Set yourself the primary task of finding all the crucial information about your future home and provide a safe and pleasant stay for you and your family.