Becoming an expat is a huge decision that will entirely change your life. People move overseas for various reasons. Whether it is for a new job, to move in with your partner or loved one, to further your education, or just to start fresh and have a better quality of life, moving abroad offers a lot of opportunities. However, it is simply not a walk in the park and it entails certain preparations before you pack your bags and embrace the ex-pat life. To help you in your next chapter overseas, here are some important things you have to consider:
When you uproot your whole life and move to a totally different country, culture shock is inevitable. There are multiple factors that can lead to culture shock. The most common ones include different climate, language barriers, etiquette, behavior, values, food, and clothing. In thought, it may seem like something you can just easily brush off, but this social phenomenon can have physiological side effects, including anxiety, headaches or stomach aches, rapid mood swings, seclusion, and difficulty in concentrating. The best way to overcome culture shock is by preparing yourself for the move through learning your destination country’s language and becoming more familiar with the culture. Each culture has its own unwritten rules and norms, so you have to do your best to learn more about this before actually leaving your home.
The healthcare system’s coverage and legal requirements vary depending on your destination country. Before moving overseas, make sure to check your destination country’s health care system, including the availability of any medications you may need. However, if you are traveling with kids, have a pre-existing medical condition or just want to retain your peace of mind, availing private health insurance is a good place to start, seeing as covering expats is usually included in these policies. There is a great difference between availing government health care and private health care. If you are wary about waiting times, service quality, and comfort, then it is best to have a dedicated health care provider. It is already stressful enough not knowing the workarounds in a new country and it is even more difficult to get sick without a support system to help you iron out your medical situation. You will never know when you will encounter illness and medical emergencies, so it is better to be prepared with international health insurance that can guarantee tailor-fit medical coverage for your needs and health requirements.
One of the most important things you have to consider before moving overseas is your finances. Make sure that your current finances can cover your expenses, including logistics, flight tickets, and passport or visa charges as well as the foreseen living expenses once you settle in your destination country. Also, keep in mind that accessing your bank account overseas may incur additional charges and fees that can be very impractical. Before moving abroad, set an appointment with your current bank manager to discuss arrangements and possible options. Alternatively, you can also begin seeking out local banks in your destination country for easy management and currency conversion. If you have properties left behind, make sure to settle your taxes and legal implications with your landlord in case you decide to rent out your property. To avoid issues with tax authorities, make sure to know what your home country’s taxation rules entail and whether you are required to file tax returns or pay taxes while living abroad.
Different countries have different transportation systems and transportation preferences. Another smart move that you can make before leaving your home country is evaluating whether it is more cost-efficient to buy a new car or use public transport for your daily commute. Also, check if an international driving license can be used in your destination country. If you plan to take your car with you, consider checking your logistics expenses compared to just purchasing a new vehicle when you arrive in your destination country.
Your security and safety are extremely important in order for you to live a comfortable life overseas. It is critical for you to check whether the political situation in your destination country is stable. Crime rates, environmental hazards, and the attitudes of the local population towards different cultures and nationalities should also be taken into account.
Moving abroad is a life-changing decision that offers personal growth, employment opportunities, and a better quality of life. To ensure a smooth transition, it is important to be prepared for the changes you will have to encounter once you arrive in your destination country.