10 Tips for Moving Abroad
Moving abroad is one of the bravest things to do and a unique experience that will completely change your life. You will need these 10 tips for moving abroad to help things go smoothly.
Deciding whether to live abroad and where to move to can be complicated, especially when you do it for the first time and alone.
When I ( Cristina ) decided that I wanted to move from Spain to the UK, I was excited about a new chapter in my life, but I must admit I was scared too!
Initially, I was planning on moving with someone else, but that didn’t work out and I was determined to stick to my plan, even if I had to do it on my own.
So, what tips would I give to someone who wants to move abroad?
1. Don’t let others decide if moving abroad is for you
Family, friends and partners opinions often matter to us, and whenever you tell them that you want to move abroad, you’ll find that some will support you all the way through while others may stop you from taking the leap – maybe because of fear of losing you.
You must be strong and be firm with your decision regardless of other opinions. It’s your life, and you don’t want to regret not moving abroad because of a boyfriend or friend.
If relationships really matter a lot to you, moving abroad is definitely a test for relationships! Those who love you will be there for you, whereas those who said they did but then stopped reaching you out and caring prove to you they didn’t.
2. Check the country’s requirement for new residents
Although you may like the idea of moving to a certain country – food, people, lifestyle, etc. – as an expat you need to check the entry requirements as well as how easy or difficult it is to get a residence permit.
Some countries are perfect for holidays but aren’t for living for a long period of time. Paperwork and bureaucracy can be a barrier, especially when you don’t know the language. In this case, you can always ask for help (if offered by some free organizations) or pay an interpreter/translator.
3. Research the cost of living
One of the things that will help you decide which country you should move to is the cost of living, especially if you are planning to move on a budget or you’re using a big part of your savings.
When researching the cost of living, you can have a look at the average cost of living or go into detail and check prices for public transport, a meal in a restaurant, monthly shopping, etc.
My favorite website to check the cost of living is Numbeo as it tells you everything you need to know and more – food, accommodation, average salary…
5. Learn the language as soon as possible
Are you moving to a country with a language different from yours? If yes, start familiarizing yourself with the language.
The purpose of living abroad is to immerse yourself in a different culture, and that’s why learning the language is important!
But not only for that, you need the language skills to get a job unless you plan to work online or for an international company.
There are many ways to start learning a language before you even move to that country.
You can join lessons (online or face to face), download an app to learn essential vocabulary and phrases, go to language exchange, watch TV programmes or series in that language, etc.
Once you’re living abroad, you’ll pick up new words and sentences from everyday actions and conversations. However, if you want to be a faster learner, try to make friends with the locals.
6. Sell unnecessary things before moving abroad
If you’re planning to move abroad for a long period of time or undefined time, have a look at your possessions and decide whether it’s necessary to keep or take some things with you or not.
Make a list to help you decide and include anything from car or big electronics to old clothes. By selling these, you’ll get some extra money which you’ll probably need for flights, important paperwork or home accessories.
7. Sort out your phone
Something that is easily forgotten, because of how many things you need to do before moving abroad, is sorting out your phone.
If you use a phone provider like Vodafone, it’s likely you can use it abroad, but the cost of roaming can be very expensive.
To avoid an expensive mobile bill, order a SIM card from the country you’re moving to.
8. Have a goodbye party
This is something I wish I would have done before leaving my hometown. Having a goodbye party is a great way to gather with those that you love and care about the most. It’s something that you won’t forget and will bring you good memories.
The country you’re moving to will determine how many times you’re going to be able to go back home, and when if you go back home you may go for a shorter period of time and you may not have time to see everyone.
9 Join a club or lesson
Meeting new people in a different country isn’t easy, and if you’re an introvert it can be even trickier. However, there are many ways you can start a conversation with someone.
If you have any hobby, look for a club or lessons you can join. In these places, it is where you can meet people with similar interests as you.
Alternatively, another way to meet not only locals but expats is by attending language exchanges. These are perfect to make friends as everyone wants to practice the language and socialize.
10. You’ll miss home
No matter how independent you are, you’ll miss home at some point during your experience abroad. You’ll miss your friends or family, traditional food that your mum or grandma used to make you all the time, a special place for you or simply a smell or sound.
Some things that will help you with homesickness is cooking a traditional meal, scheduling a call with your best friend or family member you haven’t spoken to for ages, meeting someone with the same nationality as you and decorating your house to make you feel like at home.
Here’s hoping these 10 Tips for Moving Abroad have helped you in your daily life.