Everyone has contemplated moving abroad at some point in life. Job opportunities, love, or the excitement of the unknown are just some of the reasons people start thinking about fleeing their homeland. There’s something liberating in the idea of packing up and moving to another country. This type of relocating is indeed a life-changing experience. However, before you put your shoes, there are many important questions to be answered and tasks to be checked off the list. In order to help you get clued up about the important matters related to this adventure, we’ve come up with a list of useful things you should know before you move abroad.
1. Learn the language.
One of the biggest obstacles you may come across in a new environment is the language barrier. If you’re travelling to a country where people don’t speak your language, you’ll find it difficult to do even the simplest errands like shopping or ordering food. However, learning a foreign language is not only about making communication a breeze. You’ll also learn a great deal about their culture, which will impress the locals. People feel honoured when a foreigner puts an effort in understanding the culture and the heritage of the nation they’re now part of. Being able to communicate will allow you to make friends easily and also, it will save you a lot of time and troubles at work and in institutions like hospitals or immigration centre. After all, you know what they say – the more languages you speak, the more of a person you are.
2. Consider your housing options.
Some people tend to leave their lives without planning and like to improvise a lot. They are the ones who will grab their backpack and solve the problems like where-am-I-going-to-live at the spot. We have to admit that it may sound like extreme fun, but it also has its downsides. If you’re moving for a longer period of time (or indefinitely) and you’re taking most of your belongings with you, we highly advise you to deal with your livening arrangements before you start packing. Depending on the destination country, there are tools to help you inquire, rent or even buy properties. Other ways include researching locations, communicating with real estate agents, maybe even finding roommates and everything that goes along.
3. Ask for legal advice.
We understand that excitement can be exciting and scary at the same time. However, it’s important to stay grounded and the thing about some important issues before you go. Dealing with paperwork is going to be inevitable so it’d be a good idea to talk to professionals. As much as you think you may understand the legal way of your move, most people aren’t fully familiar with the laws and procedures that follow. Finding some good local services to provide you with immigration advice and tips may save you a lot of time and energy later on. Also, doing this will ensure you understand every legal aspect of your journey as well as the steps you need to take in order to do it smoothly.
4. Adjusting to a new culture.
This won’t require drastic changes in your everyday-life patterns if you’re moving to a country that shares the same or similar customs as yours. However, if your destination awaits everything you’ve never experienced before, you’ll need some preparations and time to adjust. By learning the language, you’ll also get to know the culture and the customs of people that are about to become a part of your life soon. Maybe you won’t celebrate the same holiday or even go to the same church. Maybe you’ll embrace new traditions in addition to yours. This can be rewarding in so many ways. You’ll grow as a person and experience like these will enrich your life on so many levels. Letting go of the old traditions and embracing the new may not come easy, but once you feel the change in you, you’ll be grateful for it.
5. Moving will take its toll on your relationships.
As we go through life, we’ll find ourselves in situations that will change our relationships with people around us, whether they are our family, friends or partner. Life crossroads will sometimes lead us on different paths. People get married or move, they evolve in different ways and it inevitable changes the connection they have with people around them. Some relationships will grow stronger and some will fade away. Although moving abroad means that you’ll physically spend less (or no) time with your loved ones, it shouldn’t get you down. Your true friends and family will always be your support system no matter where you are. Plus, this journey of yours will make room for some new people and new relationships. Embrace this opportunity and see it as a wonderful opportunity to grow and evolve.
6. Paperwork on point.
When you decide to move abroad, the first thing you’ll need is a long-term visa. There is a wide range of visas available, so do your research and see which one is the best for you. Whether it’s a tourist visa, working, business, or permanent residency, all of them will require some kind of paperwork. Aside from visa, it’s also important to bring all the necessary documents with you. They include a birth certificate, medical records, a graduation certificate and any other certificate that you may find relevant. Photocopy and scan the originals so you have them in your computer at any time. Check the expiration date of your passport and renew it if necessary. By getting all necessary documents ready before the trip will ensure you don’t forget anything and you’ll also avoid stressing out at the last minute.
As you can see, getting ready to move abroad is more than just packing your suitcase. It will require plenty of preparations both physically and emotionally. If you have thought it through and decided to take the plunge then we congratulate you. Hopefully, this moving-abroad checklist will make it easier for you to enter the new chapter of your life prepared and with optimism.