Moving to another country doesn’t just happen overnight. It takes time and there are a lot of things that need to get done before you take the leap. It can seem incredibly intimidating, but the rewards and payoff of a smoother transition can really pay off.
Here are 6 really important things that you need to sort of before you move to another country.
1. Research Your Destination
Always read up on your destination. If you’ve been there before, you should probably read about it again, as living there is very different from holidaying there for a week, or two. Watch videos, read blogs, find out what it’s like to live there as a person from your country, or one similar if you can. Know what to expect when it comes to money, the economy, work availability… Even obscure things like the weather are important. Knowledge is power and the more you know, the better.
2. Be Familiar With Different Cultures Etiquette Norms
This goes hand in hand with the first point on this list, but I feel like it needs a point of its own, because it’s something so many people forget. When you go somewhere new, remember that you and your cultures are not the dominant norms. Exercise some common courtesy by reading up on basic etiquette practices and use those manners that were reserved for your grandparents at important family dinners. Here are a few general pointers.
- Find out how to act so as not to offend local people. This ranges from eating with a specific hand to covering your shoulders and ankles.
- Learn local greetings and how to share a meal. These seem so simple but are by far the two most important things you can do to ease yourself into a new culture.
- Don’t reject food. Regardless of how unappealing the food or drink may look, don’t pull a face or refuse it.
3. Save Up Some Money
Unless you have a lot of money stashed somewhere, you’ll need to save up before you go. Outline a budget of how much you’ll need and how much you’ll be spending when you get there. Be sure to save enough money to cover about three months of expenses as well as a return ticket, just in case things don’t work out.
You also need to remember to cancel any ongoing subscriptions or payments that will no longer be beneficial to you in your country of choice. There are a bunch of things you regularly pay for that you’ve probably forgotten about. Cable, gym, even some apps that won’t work in another country – cancel anything you won’t need, or can’t use after you leave.
4. Renew Your Passport And Sort Out Visas And Documentation
Make sure you know what’s required of you upon arrival, and be sure to renew your passport beforehand if you have to. Also, know what sort of visas you need to move and make sure that they get sorted in advance. Don’t leave it until the last minute, because visas can take weeks and even months to procure.
Usually, you can get the necessary documents processed in your language, but some countries might require that you get your documents translated and send both through. As stated by espresso translations the best thing you can do is have a translator who is translating into their native language from yours. This way you can ensure that your documents aren’t translated incorrectly and that they read as intended. You should probably enlist a professional service for this, not a friend.
5. Prepare Your Health And Organise Your Travel Insurance
Some countries require that you get certain vaccine shots and are immunized before you are able to enter the country. You will need to research these requirements and ask your doctor if you are still unsure.
Also, take along some medication that you are familiar with, and if you have a prescription be sure to fill it so that you have enough to get you by until you figure out where to get it on that side.
In terms of travel insurance, make sure that you are covered for health-related issues. Make sure that it covers potential cancellations for bookings, and any costly belongings, like laptops, cameras, jewelry, etc.
6. Organise A Place To Stay When You Arrive
This is a simple one, but one that so many people overlook. There are some people who like to arrive in a city without booking anything in advance. This is a huge risk and I would not recommend it. It is a good idea to have a few days to a week of accommodation booked before you arrive so that you will definitely have somewhere decent to stay.
Be sure to put all of these things on that big checklist of yours before you move and good luck!