What are the first steps to moving abroad?
Moving abroad is a big decision – you’ll potentially be leaving behind family and friends, and starting over in a new place. It’s also a really exciting time, full of possibilities and the enjoyment of exploring your new location.
As a result, the logistics of getting sorted can feel a little overwhelming, with multiple factors to consider and decisions to make before you finally set foot in your new home. Making a list of tasks and checking them off as you go can help you keep things under control and reassure you that you’ve got everything covered. In this post, we take a look at the first things you need to do when you’ve decided to move abroad – make sure to add them to your list.
Decide on your location
So, you’ve probably decided on a country, and maybe have a general area in mind – but before committing to anything, make sure to do your research. Consider what is important to you – is it having plenty of activity options, a high number of ex-pats, the beach close by, for example – and score your shortlist of destinations against these criteria.
It can be easy to get swept away by just one feature of a destination, but moving abroad requires you to choose a place that will work for you in the long term. Make sure you consider all your options and perhaps even talk them through with a trusted friend before you make your choice.
Work out your job and kids’ schooling
There are some essentials that you have to consider when moving to any new place – and how you’re going to earn an income is one of them. Not only is it important to have money to buy the things you need, but we spend a lot of time at our jobs, so it’s important that you feel comfortable and happy. It can also be the place for you to make your first new friends when you move abroad.
If you’re not able to transfer to another office with the same company or work remotely, make sure that you’ve done due diligence on the companies you are applying for. Whilst you might just be tempted to grab the first job that comes your way as a ticket to your new destination, it’s important to check it out as thoroughly as you would at home.
If you have children, you should also do research into local schools, and arrange times to speak to the principal or teachers. When you arrive, you can visit to ensure the school is the right place for your child.
Find somewhere to live
Once you’ve settled on an area, secured a job role, and have decided on schooling, you can set about looking for a place to live. Unless you’re confident with the local processes, it may be helpful to go through an agent to guide you through the paperwork and ensure that you end up with a property that you’re happy with. It may also pay off to rent rather than buy initially so that if you decide the area isn’t right for you, it’s easier to make a change.
A new start
Moving abroad can be stressful but it can also be incredibly rewarding, giving you the chance to expand your horizons and make new friends. Unless you’re a spontaneous sort of person, try not to rush the process – making considered decisions can help you feel more settled once you’ve arrived.