Before moving abroad: practical issues to keep in mind

Moving abroad is almost always exciting, however the quality of the experience abroad depends on how well prepared you are. Let’s look together on some important issues to take into account before moving abroad.

Budgeting

This is one of the most important parts in successful move abroad. Even if all your expenses are covered by the employer, it is worth to plan very well all your expenditure, step by step, including:

  • accommodation (rent)
  • medical insurance
  • travel expenses
  • emergency expenses
  • bureaucracy expenses (visa, official papers etc.)
  • living expenses (food, items for household, extras etc)

Banking

In some countries it is considered that ladybirds bring luck and money :)In some countries opening a bank account is pretty easy, in others – more complicated. It’s better to check in advance (for example, with other expatriates residing in the country of interest or directly with the banks), what kind of documents are needed to open a local bank account. In this way you will be able to act quicker and avoid any delays in getting your first salary/bank transfer. Often banks require a local residence or some other similar documents.

Read carefully all contracts you sign with your new bank, especially the fee part. You might be used to not to be charged for having a bank account, making local transactions, withdrawing money, but not in all countries the system is the same. For example, in the UK you can have a bank account basically for free – you do not pay anything to a bank or government for having a current bank account, whereas in Italy, in majority of the cases you have to pay monthly fee to a bank + every 3 months a tax just for having a bank account. Please note that some banks also charge you for closure of an account, so check twice.

Before moving abroad research what are the conditions in your bank for making international transfers, credit card withdrawals abroad etc. Even if you do not plan to use it abroad, it is good to know, as emergency situations might occur in the times, when you do not expect them.

Official papers

When you move abroad, make sure you have prepared all your official papers, such as:

  • Visa: check whether you have the right type of visa, its length, how it can be renewed (even if you do not plan to renew it), what does it allow/not allow, how can you exit the country (in some countries exist visa is needed).
  • Passport: it should be valid for the length of your stay (or at least a year), has enough blank pages.
  • Bank statement that you have enough funds to sustain yourself, and/or a letter which provides information on your source of funding (for example, a scholarship).

Other documents, which might be required:

  • Birth certificate: it might be required in some cases, therefore it is always better to have an original and an official copy.
  • Payslip.
  • Marriage/Divorce certificate.
  • Recommendation letter(s).
  • Passport size photos.
  • Medical certificate.
  • Residence certificate.

ContactsContacts

It is worth having a paper version and electronic version of all your contacts (family, friends, colleagues, place where you are going to stay/work/study). So make sure you have prepared this list before moving abroad. This list should include: name, surname, telephone nr., email, skype nickname, mailing address. In this way you will always be able to stay in touch with your beloved ones.


Food

Unless you move to a country, where food is very similar, be prepared that you will have changes in your diet. It is normal that in the beginning you might not like the local food. It is different and human beings (and their bodies) tend to react in hostile way to something new.

It takes time for a body to adjust to new products, so it might be worth trying new foods in a balanced way – one a day or similar. This approach will help you to understand what you like/dislike, what is/isn’t good for your body.

If you move to a big town, there is a big possibility that they will have a shop with international products. You can find these stores in the internet or check with your local community.

Medical careMedical care

Even if you are super healthy, it is always better to a proper medical insurance, at least for the beginning of your stay in a new country. Check local

This time we have covered main issues you have to think of before moving to a new place. May be I forgot something? Do you know any other important matter which should be included in the list? Please, let me know in the comments!

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