Unless you are moving to another country for work and have no choice, then the decision is yours, and you need to understand where you think you will live best. Determine which country you are interested in moving to. In the beautiful pink city of Toulouse in southwestern France? In Berlin, the capital of Germany? In Mexico? Spain? China? Maybe somewhere on an island like Jamaica or Tahiti? Your life will be easier if you address part of your moving issues to professionals. Before hiring out of state movers, check moving company reviews and ask for a moving quote. Be prepared and print a moving checklist.
1. Imagine that you live in this new country.
Watch the videos online to get an idea of what it’s like there in all seasons. Consider the weather, the level of pollution, and the ease of access to food, transportation, and medical care. Make a list of what you can do there for work and for fun.
2. Search the Internet for stories of people who have already made such a move.
Expatriates may be the best source of information, and learning from their experiences will help you develop a broader understanding of whether this would be a reasonable option or whether most face problems in this case. Show some faith in their words because they are actually experiencing this and note that individual experiences will differ from each other, depending on the reasons for the person’s move, their level of income, their work experience, region of residence, and so on. Ask questions on the site’s forum, if possible.
3. Will you be able to work in a new country? I
s there a demand for your profession? What challenges will you have to go through to get a job? Is it possible to get a job in another country even before moving to guarantee your earnings? Few people can afford to take the risk of not having a job in a new country unless they are rich enough to cover the costs during their stay there. Also, learn about social security and what you need to get it. Sometimes, to get social security, you need to wait a few months, and sometimes several years.
4. Spend a vacation in the country so you can experience it before you call it home.
Travel guides are a good source of information, but you should not rely on them completely. Try to avoid the country’s tourist areas and visit places in the wilderness where you can communicate with the locals on a personal level. But keep in mind: if you are eager to move abroad because you spent a vacation in this country, then understand that spending a vacation and living in the country are two completely different things. There is no routine work on vacation, you do not have to deal with bureaucracy daily, and in general, there is little to worry about. When you live there, life’s realities can be completely different from the impressions of a tourist. Do not base your moving decision only on the fact that you have visited this country!
5. Learn everything you can about the country.
Learn about the local customs (very important), language (even more important), and the areas that make up cities and regions. It is very important to know whether you will live under different laws, with different customs and routines, because all this will affect your daily life. For example, strict rules about what you can and can’t do in a country like Singapore (even to the point that it is forbidden to chew gum in a public place, for which you can go to jail) can lead to the fact that our freedom-loving fellow citizen feels squeezed.
6. Learn about immigration laws and procedures.
Is it possible in principle to move to the country in which you would like to live? Some countries have very strict immigration requirements, depending on income, age, skills, training, and family ties. You may find that if you are not rich enough, do not have the necessary skills, are too old, or do not have relatives already living in this country, you have no way to move there. Read the country-specific rules on its immigration website. Call the appropriate immigration department and ask for more specific information about yourself — print and online publications do not compare with the opportunity to present your personal situation to someone who can advise on specific issues.
First of all, contact the embassy of the country. They often have information packages for those who want to emigrate.
7. Consider the language barrier.
Do people speak a different language in the country where you are going to move? If so, do you speak this language? Be honest with yourself about your ability to master a new language. Some people find it very difficult to learn new languages, even if immersed in the appropriate environment. As long as you are learning a language and don’t understand many things, you will feel alienated from a lot of things that are happening around you. If you are so lacking in self-confidence, it can be an extremely unpleasant experience.
- Consider learning the language to an advanced level even before you leave your country.
- Sign up for language immersion courses as soon as you arrive.
- Find a tutor who understands both the language you speak and the language they will teach you.
- Make sure that he can make time for you to go to different places together and teach you the language in specific contexts, such as shopping, communicating with a landlord, bank employees, buying a car, registering for school/college, and so on.
8. If you have children, moving abroad can become more difficult.
First, think carefully about whether you want to deprive your children of their current daily lives and friendships. For them, it can be a devastating change. Is learning in a new country as good or better than where you currently reside or is it less reliable? What options are there for a decent foreign education if the local training does not satisfy you? Learn about these things in advance, as they really make a huge difference!
Don’t forget that your children will most likely have to learn a new language depending on the country you are moving to. Many parents like this prospect, because this way the child has the opportunity to learn another language. However, if your child has learning difficulties, this can be a real challenge for him/her. This is especially true if the new language is based on a different alphabet than the child’s native language.
9. When learning a language
Don’t forget to learn colloquial utterances and idioms — learn how people actually talk. Use language forums and websites; they will help you to be aware of the words and meanings. There you can ask questions about what you don’t understand. Don’t burn all your bridges at home — you may have to come back someday! For example, it is strongly recommended not to sell your home. Rent it out, and let it remain yours if you ever need to return. In the same way, you should not give up your citizenship — one day, you may want to return to the country where you were born.
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