Whether you’re planning to move abroad to study, work or just explore a little, the last thing you want is have your experiences overshadowed by issues you could have easily avoided. Here’s a list of things you ned to think about, before you take the adventurous leap.
1. Sort out your housing
It sounds easy, but finding a home abroad can be quite tricky. If you’re not familiar with the area you’re planning to move to, you might end up paying more than you should or unknowingly miss important aspects such as accessibility, distance from shops or your workplace or school. To avoid that, make sure you have a good overview of the city and its districts. Having local friends is priceless in this situation, but blogs written by foreigners are also a great place to start. You might also want to think about booking a temporary place with, say, Airbnb to have time to look for the real deal once you arrive. Your first (and sometimes second) month of rent as well as a security deposit will be required when you sign your lease, so be prepared to pay them upfront.
2. Find a job
If you can’t (or don’t want to) continue working for your current employer once you move abroad, you need to get your job sorted before you start planning the move. You can test the waters of the local job market online by doing a search on Google or LinkedIn to see what skills are in demand and whether you need to pick up a few, like the basics of the local language, before you apply. Depending on how badly you want to move abroad, you might have to be prepared to accept an offer that’s a step backwards on your career ladder or doesn’t pay as much as you had hoped. Still, working abroad is an invaluable experience in itself, so it might not be so bad after all.
3. Calculate the costs & build a budget
Moving can be expensive, moving abroad even more so. Besides buying the ticket over, you should also have a bit of spare cash saved up for deposits on housing and any unexpected expenses – and there definitely will be a few of these. You should also think about selling some of your possessions to keep the shipping costs down and avoid punching a hole into your budget with unnecessary store room rent.
4. Get to know the culture
If you have made the decision to move abroad, you have probably already read up on the culture of your new home country. It pays to know what you’re getting yourself into culture-wise, to know what to expect from the locals. If they’re a more cold and distant bunch as a nation, you will know not to take it personally if they don’t warm up to you easily. Or maybe they have weird food habits that you should be aware of. Knowing their history and traditions will also help you fit in better, and if you can speak their language at least on a basic level, you’re all set.
5. Cover your health
Firstly, the wise thing to do is get your health checks done at home to avoid having to address health issues abroad before you’ve even settled in. Figure out the health care system of your country of destination and make sure you’ve planned for continuous health insurance provided by your employer or with an insurance company.
6. Prepare for your financial life abroad
Having a local banking account is essential to getting settled in your new home country, but obtaining one is usually not as easy as you’d think. As a foreigner, the bureaucracy at a high street bank might mean you can wait for a few weeks to get a basic bank account opened, and sometimes you can get turned down entirely. Luckily, Monese will be launching in a few months so you will be able to get a UK bank account in a matter of minutes through our mobile app. We plan to expand to the rest of the EEA by the end of the year as well, so to any of you planning to move abroad soon – make sure you’ve signed up for the invite at www.monese.com!